Pennsylvania State Senator Facing Child Porn Charges Resigns

Pennsylvania State Senator Charged with Possession of Child Pornography

Pennsylvania State Senator Michael Folmer has resigned from his seat representing Pennsylvania's 48th district, less than 24-hours after he was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Folmer, 63, a four-term Republican who represented parts of Lebanon, Dauphin and York counties, was called on by multiple people to quit following his arrest, including Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who said, "The charges against Senator Folmer are disgusting and beyond comprehension, and show he has taken advantage of the trust and privilege afforded by the people of Pennsylvania. He should immediately resign.”  

Hours after his arrest, Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati along with Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman issued a joint statement regarding Senator Folmer, and announced the senator would be immediately removed as Chair of the Senate State Government Committee. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the state senate website had been cleared of any mention of Folmer and the 48th district was listed as vacant.

The state's attorney general charged Folmer with possession of child pornography after a tipster reported in February that someone had uploaded child pornography to the social network site, Tumblr. The investigation eventually led detectives to Folmer's home, where images of child pornography were discovered on his phone.

“This defendant serves as a state Senator and was entrusted to honor and represent his community in the Pennsylvania Capitol,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro while announcing the arrest on Tuesday. "Tonight, our Office arrested Mr. Folmer for possession of child pornography and charged him with Sexual Abuse of Children, Possession of Child Pornography, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility."

Folmer reported told law enforcement officials that the Tumblr account that uploaded the image was his, and that he'd been "dealing with some personal problems/issues" when he'd received the images of child porn through Tumblr.

Folmer was first elected to the 48th district in 2006 and re-elected to a fourth term last November. He'd previously served on the Lebanon City Council. Folmer is married with two kids and seven grandchildren, his online biography said.

"I will continue to say it—no one is above the law, no matter what position of power they hold. I will continue to work to protect children and hold those who abuse them accountable," said Shapiro.

Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor will have to call a special election in the next ten days to fill Folmer's seat.

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