Reality star guilty in child porn case

December 9, 2021
Josh Duggar, who appeared in TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," has been found guilty after facing two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.
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Josh Duggar, who appeared in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” has been found guilty after facing two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.

The jury in Fayetteville, Arkansas, found the 33-year-old Duggar guilty on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count when he’s sentenced at a later date.

The trial, originally scheduled for July, was postponed to November. A jury was seated in the case Nov. 30 as they heard testimony from computer analysts, friends of the Duggar family and other witnesses for several days.

Prosecutors say child pornography was downloaded to the computer at the used-car lot where Duggar worked in May 2019. Duggar’s attorneys said they planned to defend his case “aggressively and thoroughly.” 

Josh Duggar trial:Everything we know we know about the child pornography charges

The trial saw testimony from computer analysts on both sides and a family friend who testified that Duggar admitted to molesting four young girls in 2003. 

Prosecutors’ first witness was a computer analyst who testified Duggar’s workplace computer where the child pornography was found included an operating system that allowed the system to evade a tracking program.

The analyst testified that the partition essentially split the computer’s hard drive into a public-facing side that was business-related and included the tracking program and a secret second side that used a Linux system and the browser, experts said.

The Linus system allowed anyone using the computer to evade an accountability program installed to report to Duggar’s wife about inappropriate internet activity, such as searching for pornography.

Defense attorneys also called to the stand as their first witness a computer analyst, who testified that it’s possible Duggar’s computer could have been accessed remotely.

Duggar’s trial began as his father, Jim Bob Duggar, announced he would bes running in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas. It also arrived just weeks after Anna Duggar gave birth to the couple’s seventh child together. 

Duggar was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service, according to online government records, and booked into jail April 29 in Washington County, Arkansas. Duggar was released from jail in May after appearing virtually in federal court in Arkansas for a detention hearing on the charges.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Duggar, alleging that in 2019 he “knowingly” received images of children under the age of 12. 

“Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children,” a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Duggar’s arrest came less than a week after his wife announced on Instagram that she was pregnant with their seventh child. 

The Duggar family rose to fame with their TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” which chronicled the personal life of Arkansas parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Josh is their eldest son.

TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 following a sexual abuse scandal involving Josh, who later admitted to a porn addiction and cheating on his wife. The series’ spinoff “Counting On” features storylines focusing on his sisters and their young families.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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