Saratoga County sheriff's sergeant faces child porn charges – New York News

ALBANY — A Saratoga County sheriff’s sergeant is facing federal charges that accuse him of possessing thousands of child pornography images on a computer he once controlled, according to federal prosecutors.


Peter Farnum, 41, of Ballston Lake, a seven-year veteran of the department, appeared in federal court Wednesday afternoon on the charges.

A judge ordered him released on conditions; he could be released within days.

At an afternoon detention hearing, Farnum’s defense attorney, Cheryl Coleman, questioned the evidence in the case, alleging gaps in Farnum’s possession of the computer in question.

Prosecutors, however, alleged that forensic examinations of the computer shows Farnum downloaded and possessed the images.

Sheriff Michael Zurlo issued a statement expressing shock and sadness at Farnum’s arrest. Farnum has had an unblemished work history, Zurlo said.

At the time of his arrest Wednesday morning, he was assigned as the midnight shift patrol supervisor based in Milton.

“We were made aware of the allegations against Sgt. Farnum by the FBI very early in their investigation and have cooperated fully in the continuation of the investigation culminating in his arrest today,” Zurlo said Wednesday evening. “Although this incident reflects negatively on the members of the sheriff’s office and all law enforcement officers, it is the family of Sgt. Farnum to whom we offer our condolences as they deal with the immediate and long-term fallout of his alleged actions.”

Farnum faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted. He has been suspended without pay from the sheriff’s office.

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