Terminally Ill Lawmaker Imprisoned For Child Pornography Offense

A federal judge has sentenced terminally ill former Illinois lawmaker Keith Farnham to eight years in prison for compiling and trading more than 2,700 child pornography images online. Farnham was also fined $30,000. Farnham, 67, has 60 days to surrender to federal marshals. Due to his deteriorating condition, he is headed to a federal prison with hospice care. He suffers from lung disease. “If the doctors’ estimates are correct he will probably die in about three months,” The judge denied a request from Farnham’s attorney to allow him to remain under house arrest and die at home.

Judge Chang called Farnham’s crimes “despicable” and said each of the images he had represented “a nightmare” for the children involved. Among the victim impact statements, a 45-year-old woman testified that she had been molested by Farnham at the age of eight, sending her on a downward spiral that led to substance abuse and criminal behavior. Farnham’s lawyer disputed the allegation. But the judge found that Farnham did, in fact, engage in sexual contact and sexually abused the victim.