For the Chicago Tribune, Jason Meisner writes: Former Illinois State Rep. Keith Farnham was charged Monday with using both personal and state-owned computers to trade hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography and engage in graphic online chats in which he allegedly bragged about sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.
The federal criminal complaint alleged that Farnham, 66, a Democrat from Elgin, possessed two videos depicting child pornography on a computer that was seized from his state office in Elgin a week before his abrupt resignation in March. Authorities also linked a Yahoo! email account used by Farnham to a online trading forum in which he chatted with other users about his sexual preferences, according to the charges.
“12 is about as old as i can handle,” Farnham allegedly said in one online chat in November, according to the charges. “i love them at 6 7 8”
Farnham – who twice co-sponsored bills in the House that toughened penalties for child pornography — is scheduled to make his initial appearance at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday.
When he resigned his seat on March 19, Farnham told the Tribune he was stepping down due to serious health concerns. A Navy veteran who ran a painting business in Elgin before running for office in 2009, Farnham said he is receiving treatment for bladder cancer and also struggles with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes lung tissue to scar.
Farnham did not return calls for comment Monday. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Read the rest of this entry »