HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is pleased to learn of State Senator Mike Folmer’s resignation today. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Tuesday evening that Folmer was arrested and charged with felony possession of child pornography, sexual abuse of children and criminal use of a communication facility.
The possession, use and dissemination of images of children being sexually abused – which is what child pornography is – cannot be tolerated anywhere in our society, and particularly not within the walls of a state capitol. Officials elected to represent our communities—to protect our citizens and create laws for the greater good—must be held to a higher standard, one that does not make room to tolerate the actions outlined by the Attorney General’s Office Tuesday evening.
Governor Tom Wolf swiftly called for his resignation Wednesday morning and the Senate’s top two Republican leaders—President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and Majority Leader Jake Corman each released statements saying that they were shocked to learn of the allegations against Folmer and were removing him of his committee chairmanship.
It is important to note that any person who participates in the sexual abuse of another is betraying the trust of the victim and many others.
The shock and disbelief felt by families and communities when reports of sexual misconduct and abuse are made is often rooted in the realization that many people who commit these acts have often strategically created a public reputation of having strong values and a moral compass which builds trust among colleagues, in their communities and with family and friends. When it is reported that their private actions have been of a starkly different nature, it is normal to feel the pain and anger of betrayal.
PCAR works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. We partner with a network of rape crisis centers to bring help, hope, and healing to people in all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. Last year, rape crisis centers provided services to approximately 30,000 victims. Each year, rape crisis centers teach over 300,000 Pennsylvanians how to stop sexual violence in their communities. Over 50,000 professionals are trained by rape crisis centers to enhance the Commonwealth’s systemic responses to victims.