Josh Duggar has made a new legal move in the fight against his 12-year prison sentence, after being convicted on federal child pornography charges. Law and Crime.com reports that Duggar and his legal team have filed an appeal over his conviction and sentencing. They state that the used car salesman should have been allowed to argue that it was possible an "alternative perpetrator" committed the crimes for which he was tried and convicted.
The "alternative perpetrator" in question is Caleb Williams, a former employee of Duggar's car lot. "If permitted to inquire, Duggar would have established Williams: worked at the business; had familiarity with the computer and its software; engaged in eBay sales and utilized the computer to print labels; sent a text message on May 7, 2019 offering to watch the business that week; spent the night one mile from the business on May 9, 2019; and concealed all metadata on documents provided to the Government in an attempt to establish he was not present," Duggar's attorney Justin K. Gelfand wrote in the defense brief filed this week. However, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks previously noted that Williams was only at Duggar's car lot "from May 8 to May 11, 2019, several days before any child pornography downloads took place."
The former reality TV star was taken into custody by sheriffs in Arkansas on April 28, 2021 with no word on the cause of the arrest at the time. The following day he was transferred to the custody of U.S. Marshals and formally charged with possession of child pornography. Duggar pleaded "not guilty" to the charges and remained in custody until a bond hearing. Duggar was eventually released on bond and had reportedly been staying with a family friend. He was prohibited from having contact with minors. He was reportedly allowed "unlimited contact" with his kids, however, his wife Anna — who gave birth to the couple's seventh child in October 2021 — was required to be present for the visits.
Duggar was tried and convicted late last year, with his trial ending on Dec. 9, 2021. The 34-year-old was found guilty of two charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. On May 25, Duggar was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Per The Federal Bureau of Prisons, Duggar's scheduled release date is August 22, 2032. This means that he will spend over a decade in prison at Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution in Texas.