October 5, 2022
josh duggar

Josh Duggar found guilty on child pornography charges, facing potential 20-year prison sentence

A jury on Wednesday found the previous actuality star, political activist and father of seven guilty of two expenses of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse materials, in line with native information outlet KNWA.

He faces as much as 20 years of imprisonment and as much as $250,000 in fines on every of the 2 counts. His sentencing will happen at a later date, which has not but been introduced, the outlet studies.

Duggar, 33, has been on trial in federal courtroom in Fayetteville, Arkansas, since final week along with his spouse and a few relations watching daily from the front row.

Josh Duggar found guilty on child pornography expenses, facing potential 20-year prison sentence | Credit score: courtesy Washington county arkansas

By the point the jury started deliberating, prosecutors and the protection had painted two totally separate portraits of Duggar: both he was a classy prison in search of out wicked content material about kids or he was a naive native businessman with a homeschooled GED unwittingly exploited by another person. Jurors needed to determine who to consider.

Their verdict comes about two years after Homeland Safety brokers first searched Duggar’s Wholesale Motorcars in 2019, seizing two private units and a piece desktop that grew to become key to the case.

The 19 Children and Counting alum was subsequently indicted earlier this yr on each of his expenses, with prosecutors at his trial exhibiting proof he had devised an elaborate hidden system on his work laptop with which to view the child pornography over three days in Might 2019.

In his opening statement to the jury, Assistant United States Legal professional Dustin Roberts urged them to “hold [Duggar] accountable.”

The prosecution’s major witness was James Fottrell, director of the Division of Justice’s Excessive Know-how Investigative Unit, who personally analyzed Duggar’s three units.

In testimony over three days, Fottrell testified that he found proof that photographs and movies of youngsters (some youthful than 10) being sexually abused might have been accessed after which deleted from a separate password-protected working system on Duggar’s work laptop.

Fottrell additionally detailed numerous circumstantial and time-and-place connections that investigators found — the same password, comparable packages, geolocated and timestamped texts and photographs — between Duggar’s whereabouts and when the unlawful materials was downloaded and considered.

Josh Duggar found guilty on child pornography expenses, facing potential 20-year prison sentence | Credit score: John Kushmaul

Different prosecution witnesses included the Little Rock, Arkansas, police detective who mentioned he first found a pc utilizing the IP handle at Duggar’s automobile lot was sharing child pornography on-line. Two Homeland Safety brokers concerned within the search of his enterprise had been additionally known as, as had been two males who remembered Duggar being tech-savvy and listening to easy methods to set up a second working system on a pc to flee monitoring. An government from Covenant Eyes, the web “accountability” software program program Duggar used, additionally spoke about its performance.

In probably the most emotional testimony from the prosecution’s case, longtime household pal Bobye Holt testified that Duggar twice admitted to her — in 2003 and 2005 — that he had molested 4 Jane Does from when he was 12 to when he was 15. One of many women was 5. (The protection unsuccessfully tried to dam Holt’s testimony.)

The protection, led by Justin Gelfand, known as solely two witnesses but in addition used their cross-examinations to construct a parallel argument: that police had been each too sloppy and too sluggish in investigating child pornography linked to Duggar’s automobile lot which led them to disregard key clues about whether or not Duggar was hacked or exploited by a former worker or another person on the enterprise.

“If you like a good mystery, then this is the case for you,” Gelfand mentioned in his opening assertion, arguing that “the actual forensic trail presents more questions than answers.”

Josh Duggar found guilty on child pornography expenses, facing potential 20-year prison sentence | Credit score: John Kushmaul

Personal forensic examiner Michele Bush testified for two days for the defense that she believed the idea of “remote access” was possible and couldn’t be dominated out. Gelfand additionally famous she was restricted in her evaluation as a result of regulation enforcement did not seize Duggar’s work router or different units on the automobile lot. (On the stand, the Homeland Safety brokers mentioned something not seized was “cleared” through an on-the-scene overview and that the router wasn’t related.)

Bush and Fottrell’s dueling testimonies in the end took up nearly all of the trial.

Duggar’s arrest was solely the most recent in a sequence of non-public scandals that rocked his household: The truth present that first made all of them well-known was canceled in 2015 after a 2006 police report was launched revealing he had been investigated for molesting the 4 youthful women when he was a boy and teenager.

Later in 2015, Duggar also admitted to having a pornography habit and being “unfaithful” in his marriage.

A spin-off of 19 Children and Counting that adopted his siblings, known as Counting Onwas canceled after his arrest on the child pornography expenses.

In a statement instantly after their son was charged, mother and father Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar mentioned: “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 [his wife] Anna and continue to pray for their family.”