Ex-Rep. Keith Farnham considers plea deal in child porn case

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Former State Rep. Keith Farnham is considering a plea deal in his federal child pornography case, his attorney says.

The Elgin Democrat has maintained his innocence since he was charged in April, but is now negotiating with prosecutors, his lawyer Terry Ekl told U.S. District Judge Edmund Chang Thursday morning.

Farnham, who again wore an oxygen tank in court Thursday, did not speak during the brief hearing.

The 66-year-old is accused of emailing videos of children who appeared to be as young as six months old being molested, according to a criminal complaint filed earlier this year.

Farnham, who resigned citing undisclosed “health issues,” has been ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and has been placed under house arrest with strict rules that even prevent him from using his patio to ensure he stays away from children.

He recently had to ask a judge for permission to remove the ankle bracelet temporarily while he underwent a hospital scan.

He quit shortly after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers raided his home and state office in Elgin and seized a computer on March 13.

A federal complaint alleges he used a phony name in online chatrooms to trade child porn while at his office and at his home. In one disturbing webchat in November, he boasted that he’d sexually abused a 6-year-old girl, the complaint alleges.

Though he has not been charged with molesting the girl, he faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing child pornography.

Chang on Thursday told Farnham he has until Sept. 2 to agree to a deal with prosecutors, or the case will be set for trial.


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