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updated: 5/7/2014 6:10 PM

Farnham denied access to his patio by judge

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  • Former state Rep. Keith Farnham leaves the Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago after a recent court appearance. A federal judge refused the Elgin Democrat's request to extend home monitoring to his patio Wednesday.

       Former state Rep. Keith Farnham leaves the Dirksen Courthouse in Chicago after a recent court appearance. A federal judge refused the Elgin Democrat's request to extend home monitoring to his patio Wednesday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Former state Rep. Keith Farnham, confined to home while he faces child pornography charges, can't go out on the patio of his Elgin condominium, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Farnham was charged with possession of child pornography after federal agents raided his home and office in March. Authorities said they recovered images of child pornography from several computers, including one marked "property of the state of Illinois House of Representatives."

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Farnham, a Democrat who had been running for re-election, resigned his General Assembly seat on March 19, citing health issues.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert last week released Farnham, 66, on a $4,500 individual recognizance bond and ordered him to stay at his home except for physician visits, counseling sessions and meetings with his attorney.

The purpose of Wednesday's hearing was to inform Farnham's wife of her responsibilities as Farnham's custodian.

Gilbert denied a request by defense attorney Terry Ekl to allow Farnham to go on the patio after court personnel indicated the patio is out of range of the electronic monitoring device Farnham is required to wear as a condition of his bond, Ekl said. Gilbert granted Ekl's request that Farnham be allowed to do maintenance on a condominium he owns in the same building, so long as he informs the court in advance and is supervised while he works.

Gilbert also noted that a young child lives in the building. The conditions of Farnham's bond prohibit him from having unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 18. He's also prohibited from using a computer or accessing the Internet, per Gilbert's orders.

Farnham told reporters last week that he is undergoing treatment for hepatitis C and needs a lung transplant as a result of pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease. His bladder cancer is in remission, said Farnham, who until his resignation had perfect attendance at legislative sessions this year.

Elgin City Council member Anna Moeller was appointed to serve the remainder of his term and is expected to run in November.

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