Sen. Michael Folmer was arrested and resigned Wednesday, Sept. 18, over child pornography charges.
The 63-year-old Republican became the subject of an investigation late 2017, after child pornography was downloaded from the social media website Tumblr. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children followed a tip from Tumblr that a user had downloaded a child pornography image and traced it back to Folmer’s house.
Folmer is being charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, and criminal use of a communication facility. Pornographic images were found on Folmer’s cellphone, according to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Folmer admitted to investigators that he did use Tumblr in 2017. He claims the Tumblr post in question, which allegedly depicts a young female involved in a sex act, was sent to him. Prosecutors, however, claim that Folmer himself uploaded the photo under the username hoser44. Folmer said he had “been dealing with some personal problems”.
Folmer, who has seven grandchildren, and who has served on the Pennsylvania Senate since 2007, was a conservative voice for the legalization of marijuana, earning him the nickname “Marijuana Mike.”
In 2018, he opposed a bill that would extend the statute of limitations, which would make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to prosecute their perpetrators.
Gov. Tom Wolf called for Folmer’s resignation saying the charges are “disgusting and beyond comprehension and show he has taken advantage of the trust and privilege afforded by the people of Pennsylvania.”
Folmer posted his $25,000 bail on Tuesday.