State Sen. Folmer resigns amid child porn possession case

AP News
September 18, 2019 - 8:11 am
State Sen. Mike Folmer

Ty Lohr/York Daily Record

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UPDATED: 6:09 p.m.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (APKYW Newsradio) — Senate officials say a Pennsylvania state lawmaker who is facing child pornography possession charges has resigned.

Related: Pennsylvania state senator charged with possession of child pornography

State Sen. Mike Folmer's apparent resignation Wednesday came hours after he was arrested by the state attorney general's office. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said in statement that they received Folmer's resignation letter after they spoke with him to insist on it.

The state attorney general's office charged Folmer late Tuesday with possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, both felonies.

Gov. Tom Wolf also called on Folmer to resign Wednesday morning. He said the charges against Folmer are disgusting and beyond comprehension.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro had a scheduled appearance before the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, a child advocacy group, in Harrisburg Wednesday afternoon. But on his way in, Shapiro brushed past a phalanx of reporters eager to talk to him about the charges against Folmer. 

"I really don't have anything to say beyond what we said last night and beyond what was in the complaint. OK?" he said. 

During his speech, Shapiro made only one direct reference to having charged a state senator, as he reiterated his contention that no one is above the law. 

Investigators allegedly found two images of child pornography on Folmer's cellphone after they asked him to turn it over at his house in Lebanon County. Authorities were acting on a tip from a social media website.

The charges against Folmer may be shocking to some, but Pennsylvania victim advocate Jennifer Storm said they shouldn't be.

"I've worked with Sen. Folmer in the past, and I've never had a bad experience with him. But I think that's indicative of what we know about child predators and child abusers," she said.

Like Jerry Sandusky, Storm said child abusers can often look like pillars of the community — underscoring the need for vigilance. 

The 63-year-old Folmer and his lawyer haven't returned messages. Senate Republican leaders also promptly stripped the fourth-term Folmer of his committee chairmanship.

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KYW Newsradio's Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo contributed to this report.

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