Former State Sen. Mike Folmer waives preliminary hearing on child pornography charges

LEBANON COUNTY — Former State Sen. Michael Folmer has waived his preliminary hearing on child pornography charges, court records show.

The four-term Republican senator resigned on Sept. 18, one day after his arrest. He is charged with three felony counts of child pornography and one felony count of criminal use of a communication facility.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the charges against Folmer after authorities executed a search warrant at his Lebanon home.

The investigation began March 4 after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a complaint less than a month prior from a social networking website which reported that at least one image containing suspected child pornography was uploaded on December 28, 2017, charging documents said.

The social networking website provided authorities with information regarding the individual who uploaded the image, which included an email address.

Authorities subpoenaed Yahoo from subscriber information related to the specific email address and then AT&T Wireless for subscriber information pertaining to a phone number associated with said email address.

That information led to state Folmer’s residence on North 8th Street in Lebanon, where authorities conducted surveillance at the home in August before executing a search warrant on Tuesday.

Folmer was at his office at the time of the search but returned home and turned over his cellphone, which revealed two images of apparent child pornography. Charging documents said the images depicted indecent contact with a minor.

During an interview with authorities, the state senator reportedly admitted that the social networking website associated with the original complaint was his, as was the email address. He added, reportedly, that he had been dealing with some personal problems and received the child pornography through his blog on the website.

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