The latest development in Josh Duggar's child pornography case could push the trial back to next year. The former 19 and Counting star's legal team has filed a motion to delay his child pornography trial, which was originally scheduled for July 6, to February 2022. According to court records obtained by PEOPLE, Duggar's lead attorney Justin Gelfand told the court that the defense obtained a computer forensics expert to look into the case, but they need more time to look over the evidence.
"The defense has retained an independent computer forensic expert who must conduct a computer forensic examination of each of the devices at issue - a time-consuming process that requires review at a government facility for the one device the Government alleges contained child pornography," the motion reads. The prosecution responded on Monday, saying that delaying the trial to next year "would result in unnecessary delay." Instead, the prosecution suggested a three-month "reasonable continuance" period to allow the expert more time.
The defense claims they and their expert will need "additional time to complete its review of the discovery and, separately, to pursue certain investigative leads based on the discovery." the motion continues, saying: "In particular, based on the discovery disclosed to date, it appears there are certain key witnesses whom the Government did not interview and certain sources of possible evidence the Government did not obtain during its investigation."
"Thus, the defense requires additional time to navigate discovery issues with the Government and, if necessary, to raise any discovery disputes with this Court sufficiently in advance of trial," it reads. The prosecution acknowledged the defense's complaint above, assuring that they "have made timely and complete disclosure of all discovery material." In addition to the other listed reasons, Gelfand also lists his own scheduling conflicts as a reason to postpone. "Duggar's lead counsel, Justin Gelfand, has federal criminal trials scheduled to begin in July 2021, September 2021, October 2021, and November 2021 - all of which were scheduled in rapid succession as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability to hold federal jury trials at earlier dates."
"A continuance of approximately three (3) months will resolve most of defense counsel's calendar related issues," the government said in response. "Thereafter, if any remaining trials factually pose a conflict, a subsequent motion can be filed stating such with specificity. In that instance, the Court then could appropriately tailor the length of the continuance to the actual conflict, so as to not result in unnecessary delay."
Duggar was arrested for receiving and possessing child pornography in April 2021. He's pleaded not guilty to both charges. If found guilty, he could face a total of 40 years in prison as well as fines. The TLC alum was released on bond one week after his arrest and has been staying with Jim Bob and Michelle's friends in the meantime. He was recently granted "unlimited contact" with his children, as long as his wife Anna is around to supervise. However, he is still barred from seeing any other children –– including his nieces and nephews.