Former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was arrested on Thursday, and it has now been revealed that he is facing charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. Journalist Garrett Fergeson reported that Duggar pleaded not guilty to the charges. He added that the "judge said if bond is granted, Duggar will need to 'live in a home without minors.'" Duggar was taken into custody by sheriffs in Arkansas on Wednesday, but at the time no details were provided about his alleged crimes.
The new charges relatively came out of the blue, though he is not without his missteps and previous wrongdoings; Duggar's car dealership had been raided by federal agents back in 2019, but there was no word on what prompted the investigation. He was previously accused of molesting his younger sisters while they were minors, to which he confessed and apologized publicly. "We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling," he said at the time, per USA Today. "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
The situation caused mass outrage at the time, as no legal consequences were handed down to Duggar for his actions. Subsequently, his family sat down with Megyn Kelly for a Fox News interview, and they spoke about Duggar releasing that he "improperly touched" some of his sisters. "We were shocked, we were devastated," his mother Michelle Duggar said. "As parents, we felt we're failures. We tried to raise our kids to do what's right — to know what's right. And yet one of our children made really bad choices."
According to the family, Duggar confessed to molesting his sisters while they slept, even after his first confession. The incidents, they said, took place between 2002 and 2003, when Duggar was in his mid-teens. Two of his sisters came forward as victims: Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald. It is unclear if they were the only siblings to be his victims, or if they are simply the only two that the family has revealed.
Notably, at the time of the Megyn Kelly interview, Seewald defended her brother by saying, "I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying." She added, "I'm like, 'That is so overboard and a lie really.' I mean, people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims."