Former Pennsylvania state senator sentenced for child porn

Northeast

LEBANON, Pa. (News Nation/WHTM) — Former Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Folmer was sentenced Tuesday to a minimum of one year minus a day in prison, and a maximum of two years minus two days in prison for child pornography charges. The reason for the precise sentence is so he could serve his time at the county level instead of the state level.

Judge Joseph Madenspacher also ordered Folmer to serve one year of parole, plus eight years probation. He will be registered as a sex offender for 15 years.

When speaking to the courtroom, the 64-year-old said he’s let his Lord, his family and his constituents down.

“This was a public official whose constituents trusted to do what’s right, but he failed. He engaged in the sexual exploitation of children,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “No one is above the law, including those who make the laws.”

Folmer’s wife and daughter stood by his side at the Lebanon County Courthouse.

His legal team initially asked for no jail time, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and his cooperation with the attorney general’s office, but the judge turned that down.

“You heard me argue for mitigation,” said Folmer’s defense attorney Brian Perry. “His age, his service as a senator, his immediate acceptance of responsibility and treatment…he doesn’t forgive himself. He’s embarrassed.”

“It’s hard to say if what’s someone’s doing is right or wrong after they’re caught,” said Chris Jones of the attorney general’s office. “These images are children that are being sexually abused and every time someone downloads these images, they are essentially re-victimized.”

Folmer pleaded guilty to child pornography charges back in February. In exchange, he will be allowed to let his sentences run concurrently.

He resigned from the state Senate in September after prosecutors said he used his Tumblr account on his cell phone to upload a photo of a young girl engaged in a sexual act.

Two more images of indecent contact with a child were later found on his cell phone.

Officials are currently working to determine which prison Folmer will serve his sentence. Lawyers say it won’t be in Lebanon County due to safety concerns.

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