A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging former Illinois State Rep. KEITH FARNHAM with possessing, receiving, and transporting child pornography, federal law enforcement officials announced today. Farnham was initially charged with one count of possession of child pornography in a criminal complaint filed last month in U.S. District Court.
Farnham, 66, of Elgin, was indicted yesterday on one count of possessing child pornography involving a minor under age 12, one count of receiving child pornography, and two counts of transporting child pornography, all via computer. Farnham, who was previously released on his own recognizance with conditions, including home incarceration and electronic monitoring, will be arraigned on a date yet to be determined in Federal Court.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of a computer hard drive that was seized at Farnham’s residence on March 13, when agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed federal search warrants at Farnham’s state office and residence in Elgin.
Farnham resigned his seat in the Illinois General Assembly on March 19.
According to the complaint affidavit, HSI agents were investigating information received from the HSI Cyber Crimes Center that an email address, later linked to Farnham, was being used to trade child pornography on the Internet.
Possession of child pornography of a minor under age 12 carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while each count of receiving and transporting child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gary Hartwig, Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI in Chicago.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Petersen.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.