Josh Duggar was arrested last month on charges of possessing child pornography, and the news has shocked many Counting On fans. While those who have followed the family have been stunned, many other individuals have expressed a lack of surprise. They have pointed to Duggar's past confession that he molested his sisters, as well as reports that he cheated on his wife, as why his new arrest did not come as a shock to them.
Rachael Denhollander spoke out about Duggar, tweeting, "When news broke years ago about Josh Duggar's sexual assault of his sisters, and again with the news of his Ashley Madison account, we lost friends. A lot of them. Because I pointed out that the blame was being put on the wrong people for what his sisters were going through." Denhollander is a lawyer and a former gymnast who was the first person to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor of sexual assault. Scroll down to read more about Duggar's arrest.
In November 2019, Wholesale Motorcars, a used car dealership owned by Duggar, was searched by Homeland Security. At the time, there was no indication as to what the agents were in search of. It is now known that the raid was part of a Department of Justice initiative, launched to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.prevnext
Taken Into Custody
Duggar was taken into custody by sheriffs in Arkansas on Wednesday. No details were provided about his alleged crimes. The authorities responsible for holding Duggar stated that they were waiting to turn him over to another department.prevnext
Federal Arrest and Charges
Duggar was turned over to U.S. Marshals on Thursday, April 29. He was then formally charged with possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors have alleged that Duggar obtained the images in May 2019. It was also confirmed that the previous federal investigation at his car dealership had been recommended by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.prevnext
Indictment and Plea
In the federal grand jury's indictment, Duggar is accused of having "knowingly" received pornographic images of children who were under the age of 12. On April 30, Duggar pleaded not guilty to one count each of charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.prevnext
On Friday, Duggar's lawyers — Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne — issued a joint statement on his charges. "Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly," they said.
"In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime," the statement continued. "But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do."prevnext
Duggar is to remain in custody until Friday, May 5. At which time, a detention hearing to seek bond will be held. Journalist Garrett Fergeson previously reported that the judge in Duggar's case "said if the bond is granted, Duggar will need to 'live in a home without minors.'"prevnext
A pretrial hearing is currently set for July 1. A trial is then set for July 6. In a statement on Duggar's charges and arrest, his parents Jim Bob and Michelle wrote, "We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious."
The statement continued, "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."prev