Josh Duggar Jury Delivers Verdict in Child Pornography Trial

Josh Duggar has been found guilty of two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography, reports CBS News. The jury in the former 19 Kids and Counting star's federal case returned Thursday with a guilty verdict after the trial began last week. The former reality personality faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.

Prosecutors alleged that Duggar used the internet at his workplace to download child sexual abuse materials, some of which depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. The federal trial in Arkansas began last week, with the prosecution resting its case Monday and the defense resting Tuesday. The jury convened Wednesday in an attempt to make a decision but did not reach a verdict by the end of the day, extending into Thursday.

The defense argued that the child sexual abuse materials found on Duggar's computer could have been downloaded by someone else or placed onto the workplace computer remotely, which was backed up by defense witness and forensic computer analyst Michele Bush. Bush's credibility was called into question, however, when she acknowledged to prosecutors that the 10 years of experience she claimed as a forensic computer analyst included time as a college student, as reported by KNWA-TV. Bush was also hammered by the prosecution over her claim she had testified numerous times in court as an expert witness, admitting under follow-up questioning that the Duggar case might actually be her first. 

Duggar's past molestation scandal was also entered into evidence, as a Duggar family friend testified that the former reality personality admitted in 2003 to molesting four young girls, as per PEOPLE. Duggar's attorneys argued in a pre-trial hearing that testimony surrounding the molestations shouldn't be allowed, as Duggar's previous confessions were made in the context of "spiritual counseling," and therefore shielded by the religious privilege between clergy and parishioners.

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When Duggar's molestation scandal was initially made public in 2015, TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, following up with Counting On, a spinoff about the Duggar family that did not include the disgraced family member. In 2015, Duggar publicly apologized for his pornography addiction and for cheating on wife Anna Duggar, who gave birth last month to the couple's seventh child.