Ex-Pennsylvania lawmaker pleads guilty in child porn case

Crime

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — A former Pennsylvania state lawmaker charged last fall with possession of child pornography pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday.

Mike Folmer pleaded guilty in Lebanon County court to three counts of possessing child porn and one count of criminal use of a communications facility for having items on his cellphone. He did not comment as he left the courtroom, and no date has been set for his sentencing. He also will be evaluated as potentially violent sexual offense under state laws.

Folmer was a sitting four-term state senator last September when police arrested and charged him, saying a search of his cellphone on a warrant had turned up two images of child pornography.

The investigation into Folmer, of Lebanon County, had gone on for months, following a tip from an online social media provider, Tumblr.

Last February, Tumblr sent a complaint to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a user had uploaded at least one image that contained suspected child pornography in December 2017, according to court papers filed by the attorney general’s office in September.

Investigators then traced the Tumblr account to Folmer’s email address and home address, they said.

Folmer promptly resigned from the Senate and has not commented publicly about the case. He had been charged with possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, both felonies.

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