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Pennsylvania state lawmaker arrested on child pornography charges


By David DeKok

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania state senator was arrested on Tuesday over child pornography charges, the state attorney general said.

Republican Michael J. Folmer, 63, was charged with possessing child pornography, sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communications facility, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a statement.

"I will continue to say it - no one is above the law, no matter what position of power they hold," Shapiro said.

Folmer, a four-term Republican from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, could not be reached for comment at his home on Tuesday night following a brief initial court appearance.

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania state legislature said Folmer was being immediately stripped of his chairmanship of the state government committee and that further action could be taken against him by lawmakers.

Prosecutors said they were initially tipped off to the case after the microblogging network Tumblr discovered an image of child pornography had been uploaded to the site in late 2017.

The Tumblr account was traced to Folmer, prosecutors said, and authorities who seized the politician's phone found two additional images of child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

Folmer played a key role in the passage of a bill that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania in 2016.

(Reporting by David DeKok in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jane Wardell)


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