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Former Elgin Lawmaker In Court On Child Porn Charges

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Updated 04/30/14 – 5:36 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A former state lawmaker accused of having child pornography on a computer at his district office was placed on home confinement and electronic monitoring on Wednesday, ahead of his possible trial.

Keith Farnham, a former Democratic state representative from Elgin, arrived at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse wearing a nasal breathing tube connected to an oxygen bottle, six weeks after resigning his seat, citing health issues. Farnham, 66, stepped down from the Illinois House less than a week after federal agents raided his home and legislative office in Elgin on March 13.

Defense attorney Terry Ekl said Farnham has several serious medical issues, including bladder cancer, and a combination of pulmonary fibrosis and Hepatitis C, which will require him to get a lung transplant after he’s cured of the viral infection.

“He cannot get on a lung transplant list until the Hepatitis C has been resolved,” Ekl said. “I think it’s fair to say he’s having a very, very difficult time. Between his physical health and these charges, he’s having a very difficult time right now.”

Farnham Accused Of Accessing Child Porn On State Computer

court generic 2 Former Elgin Lawmaker In Court On Child Porn Charges
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A judge ordered Farnham to be placed on electronic monitoring and home confinement under the supervision of his wife, who must make sure he has no contact with minors or access to the Internet.

Farnham quietly answered yes when asked if he understood the charges against him and the restrictions placed on him until trial.

“He’s going to be wearing a monitor where he can only leave the house for certain specified purposes. Other than that, he must remain home. He can’t have any Internet access, because the thrust of what he’s charged with is accessing child porn over the Internet,” Ekl said.

Federal prosecutors have said a state-owned computer seized from Farnham’s office contained at least two videos depicting child pornography.

One video allegedly shows an adult engaged in sex with a 6-month-old girl. The other shows a man having sex with a girl between the age of 7 and 9.

Prosecutors said in one chat room conversation, Farnham said “12 is about as old as I can handle. I love them at 6, 7, 8,” said he wanted to see a video of a boy raping a girl, and also said “I wish I had access to all the vids and pics ever made.”

He also allegedly bragged about abusing a 6-year-old girl himself. He claimed the girl also watched him have sex with her mother.

Agents busted Farnham after linking him to a Yahoo email account used to send and receive lewd images and videos of sex acts involving minors. An affidavit claims he shared hundreds of images and videos with dozens of people online.

If convicted, Farnham could face up to 10 years in prison.

Sources tell CBS 2 it’s likely Farnham will plead guilty after negotiations with federal prosecutors.