Josh Duggar's Hands at Center of Peculiar Dispute in Child Pornography Case

Josh Duggar's legal team has filed a motion to have photos of his hands suppressed and removed from evidence in his ongoing child pornography criminal case. According to reports, Duggar has a distinctive scar on his hand that was photographed in jail after his arrest, and the motion claims that taking the photos was a violation of his rights.

"What is particularly egregious about [Homeland Security's] conduct in this capacity is that Duggar's body parts were manipulated and he was required to pose for the photographs," the motion states according to PEOPLE. "By any measure, this constitutes a search and an 'intrusion on [his] personal rights'—all without his counsel present—in violation of his Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights." The motion argued that law enforcement "must obtain a warrant which permits photographing a defendant's body parts (other than a simple booking photograph) and to permit requiring a defendant to pose in a particular manner for these types of photographs." 

However, The Sun obtained documents that revealed the government responded by demanding the judge deny the request, claiming that Duggar "expressly consented to having the photographs taken." It continued, stating that "the photographs document a scar on the defendant's hand, which is plainly visible. Law enforcement observed the same scar in images recovered from the defendant's electronic devices seized pursuant to a search warrant in this case." 

The documents alleged that the photographing of his hands "did not constitute an unreasonable or warrantless search of the defendant" and that "his hands were in plain view and clearly visible." Duggar was not required to remove any clothing when the photos were taken. 

The defense alleges that multiple people had access to Duggar's work computer, which was found to contain child pornography, and that investigators did not properly preserve related evidence. Notably, government officials have stated that "no evidence of criminal activity" was discovered on electronic devices belonging to witnesses who were questioned and searched. Duggar's lawyers also argue that the case should be dismissed due to what they claim was improper appointment of the two acting secretaries of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security during the time Duggar was being investigated.

Duggar's lawyers did not stop there, as they also filed motions to suppress evidence they claim was acquired by misleading means. The defense alleges that a judge was not fully filled in on which files investigators were able to download from the computer in Duggar's car lot office. The attorneys also claim that investigators waited longer than they should have to execute their warrant, causing it to become stale.

The former 19 Kids and Counting star was taken into custody by sheriffs in Arkansas on April 28, 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 has since been released on bond and is staying with a family friend. He is prohibited from having contact with minors, other than his own children. The father-of-six is reportedly allowed "unlimited contact" with his kids, however, his wife — who is currently pregnant with the couple's seventh child — must be present for the visits. His trial is set to begin in November.

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