Judge Orders Farnham To Stay Inside Home, Off Patio

Former State Representative Keith Farnham, who faces federal child pornography charges, was told by a federal magistrate Wednesday he must stay off his own patio.

Farnham was already ordered confined to his home by Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert. He had asked for permission to use his patio, which fronts on a common area in the condominium development where he lives with his wife, Susan. But the judge refused, citing the fact that a 7-year-old child lives elsewhere in the building

“I think home incarceration means home incarceration,” the judge said. “I’m not completely comfortable that we can create the type of perimeter here that is not potentially compromised.”

Noting that the patio is “not a completely controlled area,” the judge kept the boundaries of Farnham’s electronic monitoring intact. He also told Farnham’s wife, who was present in court, that she would be in charge of making certain that her husband complies with the conditions of his release. 

“You’re really the eyes and ears of the court,” Gilbert said. 

Susan Farnham was told it would be her job to make certain that her husband not only stays within his court-ordered boundaries, but also that he has no access to the internet. The judge told her it would be her responsibility to password-protect her two iPads, laptop and smartphone, and to make certain that only she has the passwords.

When the judge informed her that she should lock up the devices if she leaves the house, Farnham told the judge she might have to lock them in the trunk of her car.

Farnham is accused of trading child pornography online. He resigned his seat in the Illinois House in March, shortly after his home and office were raided by federal agents.

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