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Farnham working on plea deal

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

* After proclaiming his innocence, former state Rep. Keith Farnham is now trying to work out a plea deal

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.

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. […]

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.

The judge gave Farnham until Sept. 2nd to work out a deal or the case goes to trial.

Prosecutors ought to make him disclose the name of that little girl, and then make sure the child gets some help.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Has pedophilia always been as widespread as it is now, or are we just hearing more about it because of the Internet?

    It sounds as if there’s a similar scandal brewing in the British parliament.


  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:24 pm:

    One of the allegations is that he used his state-owned computer to obtain the pornography. This is enough of a nexus to his “official duties” to ensure that he loses his pension, IMLO.


  3. - Because I say so... - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    I totally agree that he should divulge the name of the little girl. Along with that, the plea deal should include that he assist law enforcement in helping catch other creeps involved in this God awful crime on children.


  4. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    RRW — absolutely.


  5. - Try-4-Truth - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    ===- Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Has pedophilia always been as widespread as it is now, or are we just hearing more about it because of the Internet?

    It sounds as if there’s a similar scandal brewing in the British parliament. ===

    I used to, tangentially, work in this field. The story is that there has always been this level of wacko in the world, but the internet makes it easier to indulge in the sickness. “Back in the day” the creeps had to work hard to get a video tape or at worst seduce a child. Now, it’s big business.


  6. - wayward - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    It’s possible that Farnham was making stuff up to impress other “like-minded” people, but I hope the police investigate what kind of access he’d had to children.


  7. - anon 512 - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    we’ll make you a deal!! NO Pension and life in jail!!


  8. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Since he got such a sweet deal to be confined at home while waiting for trial, I’m guessing probation, fine, etc.

    Frankly, the only hope I have is his using the state computers. And please let his pension be forfeited.


  9. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    The good news, if any in this case, is that no matter how short the sentence is, he’ll likely be confined at Rushville indefinitely after his release. We keep folks that are dangerous sexual predators there until it can be proven they are no longer a danger. I’ve heard only one or two prisoners make that cut each year. The State recently had to expand the facility with an emergency project because they ran out of capacity years before expected.


  10. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Denied. Next.


  11. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Of course everything I said above is predicated on him actually having committed and being charged with the act he boasted about. I have to think if it happened the feds can figure out who it was. They can generally get to the bottom of anything, if they are motivated to do so.


  12. - Just Observing - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    === It’s possible that Farnham was making stuff up to impress other “like-minded” people, but I hope the police investigate what kind of access he’d had to children. ===

    My thoughts too. Who knows though.


  13. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Very good thought about the child, Rich.

    Ugly, ugly story.


  14. - Sickofit - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Politicians in IL. aren’t treated like regular persons. I can’t believe that he still is not in jail awaiting trial while collecting a state pension.
    Using state equipment to commit a crime such a this, allowed to retire and collect a pension and not in jail… This should tell the tale as to how it will end.


  15. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    Worst kind of crime. What he deserves if found guilty is not printable. If there are victims he can do the right thing and and give the authority’s names so they can get help. His pension can be used for the victims.


  16. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    The state doesn’t block access to pornographic and other sites on its computer system? If not, that seems like a deficiency that should be remedied.


  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Cassandra, that was his district computer. The Statehouse wifi does block sketchy sites. Don’t ask me how I know this.


  18. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    Our school district blocks inappropriate sites including all types of porn, but a teacher was caught and arrested a few years ago. He found a way around the security with his flash drive and was watching child porn on his classroom computer. This man was my daughter’s middle school art teacher for two years. I was sickened when I heard the news, though they said no district child was involved in the confiscated evidence.

    Throw the book at Farnham and see he’s never within a thousand feet of anyone’s child again.


  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 7:29 pm:

    @Jimbo:

    Not sure Rushville applies to federal ex-cons.

    The names of all victims would be part of any plea. Law enforcement will interview any children he has had contact with, starting with family and family friends. If he has any adult children, they and their children are probably top on the list.

    People don’t just wake up one day in their sixties and start abusing children.

    And yes, his pension is toast. See Goff v. Supreme Court ruled pension board acted properly in stripping school administrator of his pension after he abused children on a scouting trip, even though the trip was not school related. He introduced himself to parents as a school administrator to gain their trust.


  20. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 8:30 pm:

    YDD, in the case of Goff, there was a staff and Board willing to stick their collective necks out and make a finding that was not popular in some segments of the “education community,” because of the precedent it set. Looking forward to see how GARS handles this.


  21. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 9:49 pm:

    The law requires that sexual offenders register and keep that registration current. Check out the website and you will be able to identify any such offenders in your area. Heads up people, this is more rampant than you might think.


  22. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 10:04 pm:

    This is the address. http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/


  23. - Jimbo - Friday, Jul 11, 14 @ 8:46 am:

    YDD, I thought so too, but since it is a civil commitment thing, its based on an evaluation by DHS. My thinking is that while that evaluation is required when convicted of a state crime, they likely can and do evaluate people convicted of federal crimes, like kidnapping, child pornography, transporting minors.

    As to your point on the pension. I can’t believe the chutzpah of some people. To think they deserve a pension after clearly abusing the job that provided it. I remember Ron Goff. He was the head counselor at a horse camp I went to at Dubois. He creeped me out big time. My folks see some of his family members at a trivia night they go to. They think the charges were all made up. I can tell you, not from personal experience, but from the inappropriate things I saw, like him showering with a boy, he’s almost definitely guilty of a lot more than they put him away for.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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