Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputy arrested on child porn charges

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Saratoga County Sheriff’s deputy is facing child pornography charges.

Peter Farnum, 41, is accused of using a home computer to download and store thousands of files containing child pornography between October 2015 and April 2016.

According to an 18 page criminal complaint, investigators found more than 14,000 files of child pornography on a family computer.

The affidavit alleges that Farnum’s wife, whom he had been separated from but shares three young children with, was concerned after finding adult pornography on the computer. She says the files began to disappear when she opened them.

After confronting Farnum about it, she says she was concerned about him being around their children and took the computer to a computer shop in Albany. They allegedly found adult pornography on the computer. Farnum’s wife then says she reached out to computer experts in Hamilton, Montana where employees say they found thousands of files of child pornography. Employees then contacted the FBI.

Investigators say they also found more files that they believe were deleted by an intentionally installed wiping program. Those images contained search names including a term referring to the attraction of young girls. The images, according to police, were of young children as young as 7 or 8 years old who were naked and engaged in sexually explicit poses and acts.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo issued this statement:

“Although this incident reflects negatively on the members of the Saratoga County 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 appeared in federal court on Wednesday.   If convicted, he faces at least five years and up to 20 years in prison.

Farnum’s wife said she had no comment and asked for privacy for her and her children at this time.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, with the assistance of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

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