Victim advocates speak on seriousness of child pornography charges

Local

UPDATE: 11:03 p.m.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania advocates say they are relieved that Mike Folmer resigned from the state Senate and vehemently against his actions.

Victim’s advocate Jennifer Storm said it is important that people understand the seriousness of the charges against Folmer, a four-term Republican who represented Lebanon County and parts of Dauphin and York counties.

State prosecutors say Folmer had two images of suspected child pornography on his phone.

Storm says the charges are beyond disturbing.

“Never judge a book by its cover,” she said. “Child abusers are among us, and this is a wake-up call, again, unfortunately in Pennsylvania that we need to be vigilant.”

Storm added that it’s important to understand that people who possess or distribute explicit images of children are contributing to their exploitation and abuse.

“We need to start holding people accountable just as hard for viewing as those who make the images,” she said. “I applaud the attorney general for prosecuting this case.”

Kristen Houser of the Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape wanted to put into perspective that this behavior is not linked to any kind of person.

“People who sexually abuse children and who create a demand for images of child sexual abuse, which is what child pornography is, come from all walks of life,” Houser iterated.

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