Josh Duggar’s lawyers file motions to get child porn charges dropped

Josh Duggar’s lawyers file motions to get child porn charges dropped

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Global News

Posted August 25, 2021 12:27 pm


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Josh Duggar is seen in his mugshot on April 29, 2021.

Washington County Detention Center

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After pleading not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography in April, former reality show personality Josh Duggar, along with his lawyers, is seeking to get the case dismissed.

His legal team filed motions to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas on Friday, arguing for dismissal due to technicalities about who was running the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while they investigated Duggar. They also say investigators failed to preserve evidence that could have helped his defence.

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After one week in jail on a federal hold, Duggar has since been confined to his parents’ friends’ home — the couple previously agreed to be his custodian while he awaits trial. One of the conditions of his custodianship is that he cannot live in a residence with minor children, though he has been granted “unlimited contact” with his children, provided that his wife, Anna, is also there. He is not permitted to use any electronic devices and is subject to electronic monitoring.

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If found guilty of the charges, he could face up to 20 years behind bars and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.


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According to court documents filed on April 28 (above), Duggar allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material in 2019. He also allegedly possessed said material, some of which depicts sexual abuse of children under the age of 12.

Duggar appeared before Judge Erin Wiedemann of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas via Zoom in April.

Jim Bob and Michelle, Duggar’s parents, released a statement on behalf of the family following the indictment.

“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” it reads. “The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”

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When presenting the initial charges, prosecutors said Duggar had more than 200 images of children on his computer.

At a virtual hearing in May, DHS agent Gerald Faulkner presented a summary of the forensic analysis of Duggar’s devices, including two computers and a backup of an iPhone. He described the multiple torrent files on the devices as the “top five of the worst of the worst” that he has ever seen.

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Duggar’s place of work, a car dealership in Arkansas, was raided by Homeland Security in late 2019. His devices on-site, as well as any witnesses’ devices, were also examined, but no child pornography was found.

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In one of the new motions filed, Duggar’s lawyers say that child pornography could have been transferred from one of the witnesses’ devices onto Duggar’s, but they say investigators at the time “preserved no evidence whatsoever.”

They argue that potential evidence on the witnesses’ devices could’ve been “exculpatory.”

“The problem is that (DHS’s Homeland Security Investigations division) may have not identified evidence of child pornography during the field examination of these devices — but failed to preserve other potentially exculpatory evidence,” the motion says.

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“For example, the devices may have contained content as to whether these devices had any relevant internet search history, any evidence associated with the so-called ‘dark web’ and/or the Bit Torrent network, any metadata that might pinpoint the whereabouts of the devices at various dates and times, and the list goes on.”

The other filed motion claims the case should be dismissed because the two DHS acting secretaries at the time of the Duggar investigation weren’t properly appointed under the designated order of succession to serve when then-secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned.

Lawyers for Duggar also filed three motions to suppress evidence in the case, including all statements that he made to investigators before they confiscated his cellphone and before he could call his lawyer.

Another motion seeks suppression of photos of Duggar’s hands and feet, taken while he was in custody; his lawyers say DHS had no legal grounds to take the photos and they should therefore not be used at trial.

The trial, originally scheduled for early July, has now been pushed to November as his lawyers requested more time to go over all the electronic devices.

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In 2015, Duggar admitted to sexually molesting five underage girls 13 years prior, when he was only 14. He also revealed that two of those girls were his younger sisters, Jill and Jessa, and he conceded to a porn addiction and cheating on his wife, which rocked the family’s strong Christian fanbase.

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In a message posted on Facebook at the time, Duggar wrote: “I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”

He sought treatment at a faith-based rehabilitation centre following the confession, but no charges were ever filed against him. He also resigned from his role as a lobbyist for an organization called the Family Research Council, which describes itself as “advancing faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview.”

“Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” his parents Jim Bob and Michelle said in a joint statement at the time. “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

“Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us — even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey — the good times and the difficult times — cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”

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Josh Duggar pleads not guilty to receiving, possessing child porn

Josh Duggar pleads not guilty to receiving, possessing child porn – Apr 30, 2021

TLC cancelled the show following Duggar’s revelations, after a highly successful run from 2008 until 2015. (The network has aired another Duggar-related show, Counting On, since late 2015.)

His arrest in April took place mere days after announcing that he and his wife, Anna, were expecting their seventh child together. They are already parents to Mackynzie Renée, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 1.

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