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Ex-lawmaker pleads not guilty in child porn case

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 11:18 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP file photo/Daily Herald, George LeClaire)
Former Illinois state Rep. Keith Farnham of Elgin arrives at the federal building April 30 in Chicago to make his first court appearance since a federal complaint charged him with possession of child pornography. On Tuesday, Farnham entered a plea of not guilty to child pornography charges.

CHICAGO – A former Illinois state representative has pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges.

Keith Farnham entered the plea Tuesday at a federal courthouse in Chicago. The 66-year-old Elgin Democrat was charged in a criminal complaint in April with possessing child pornography. A federal grand jury returned an indictment last month charging him with possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography.

A judge ordered Farnham confined to his home during the case, even refusing his request to be allowed to step onto his outdoor patio. Farnham also is barred from using computers or having unsupervised contact with anyone under 18. He must wear a monitoring bracelet and the judge ordered Farnham’s wife to be his custodian.

The initial criminal complaint alleged that Farnham possessed videos depicting child pornography on a computer. The document also provided graphic details about images allegedly sought and traded by Farnham online. Some allegedly showed children under 10.

Farnham previously supported state legislation that aimed to toughen penalties against child pornography owners.

Farnham, who entered the Legislature in 2009, resigned in March after agents searched his home and state office. Farnham said at the time he needed to attend to “serious health issues.”

He has since appeared in court with a portable oxygen tank and says he needs a lung transplant.

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