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Former state representative pleads guilty to child porn charge

By Preston Hau

Former State Rep. Keith Farnham Friday pleaded guilty at the Dirksen United States Courthouse to one count of transporting child pornography.

Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Photo Credit: Ken Lund, Flickr.
Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Photo Credit: Ken Lund, Flickr.

Farnham, 67, was charged with four counts in connection with transporting, receiving and possessing child pornography. He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but Friday changed his plea to guilty on the one count of transporting.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Storino, said that Farnham possessed more than 2,700 images of child pornography, many that were graphic in nature and involved sexual acts with young children, some as young as 2 years old.

Further, he used a his Yahoo! email to communicate and exchange images with others. Images were found on his computers at his Elgin home and at his Elgin state office, according to the plea agreement.

Farnham sent email messages including, “do you trade? This is what I lik(sic),” with attachments of minors performing sexual acts with adults, according to the plea agreement. Some of the videos included sexual acts with young girls while they appeared to be sleeping.

In another instance, Farnham was in possession of a video depicting an adult male in sexual act with a crying girl who appeared to be 2 to 3 years old, according to the plea agreement.

Farnham’s attorney Terry Ekl asked that his client be kept in home confinement until sentencing because of medical conditions, including hepatitis C, bladder cancer, and a terminal lung disease. Farnham, who carried an oxygen tank in the courtroom with breathing straps across his nose,  is waiting for a lung transplant.

“Frankly I can care less if the public thinks he should go in (to custody) today as opposed to in March or May,” Ekl said. “He’s accepted responsibility for his conduct, which we all agree is something none of us can understand. It’s a sickness.”

Ekl stressed that Farnham needs a lung transplant and that the Metropolitan Correctional Center where Farnham would have likely awaited sentencing, did not have the medical facilities he would need. “He cannot breathe without oxygen.”

Metropolitan Correctional Center. Photo Credit:
Metropolitan Correctional Center. Photo Credit:


Farnham will be sentenced in March by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang who ordered him to home-confinement until sentencing. Farnham could be sentence to a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 20 in prison.

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