TO UPDATE: Josh Duggar was charged Friday with receiving and possessing child pornography, the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas said.
He pleaded not guilty and will remain in custody. If found guilty, he can face fines of up to $ 250,000 per count for up to 20 years behind bars.
According to court documents filed on April 28 (above), Duggar reportedly used the internet in 2019 to download material about child sexual abuse. He also allegedly owned this material, some of which depicts sexual abuse of children under the age of 12.
Duggar appeared on Zoom Friday morning before Judge Erin Wiedemann of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. He will remain in custody pending a May 5 hearing, according to local NBC subsidiary KNWA.
Judge Wiedermann said that should Duggar be released on bail, he would need a “third party administrator” and could not live in a dormitory with underage children.
His next court date is scheduled for Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
Jim Bob and Michelle, Duggar’s parents, released a statement on behalf of the family on Friday following the indictment:
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” it says. “The allegations against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, whatever it is, will come to light and that it will all be resolved in time. We love Josh and Anna and we continue to pray for their families. “
ORIGINAL STORY: Josh Duggar, who previously appeared on the TLC Reality Show 19 children and countingwas arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas on unspecified allegations. He is currently being held without commitment.
In 2015, Duggar admitted to sexually molesting five underage girls 13 years ago when he was only 14 years old. He also revealed that two of these girls were his younger sisters Jill and Jessa and admitted that he was addicted to his wife in porn and cheated on her, rocking the family’s strong Christian following.
In a message posted on Facebook at the time, Duggar wrote: “I have acted inexcusably, which I am very sorry for and deeply regretful. I’ve hurt others, including my family and close friends. “
After the confession, he sought treatment at a faith-based rehabilitation center, but no charges were ever brought against him. He also stepped down from his role as a lobbyist for an organization called the Family Research Council, which describes itself as “promoting the faith, the family and freedom in public order and culture from a biblical worldview”.
“12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” said his parents Jim Bob and Michelle in a joint statement at the time. “When Josh was a young teenager he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We tried to teach him right and wrong. This dark and difficult time led us to seek God like never before.
“Although we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each of our family members moved closer to God. We pray that people who watch our lives will realize that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. This is one of the reasons we value our faith so much, because God’s goodness, goodness, and forgiveness come to us – even when we are so undeserved. We hope that the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – will lead you to see the goodness of God and learn that He can get you through anything. “
TLC canceled the show following Duggar’s revelations after a hugely successful run from 2008 to 2015. (The network aired another show related to Duggar. Count on, since the end of 2015.)
Online records show that Duggar was found at the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Authorities have not stated why he was arrested, but confirmed that Homeland Security arrested him.
More recently, the 33-year-old was facing a real estate lawsuit in 2019. He was reportedly charged with fraud and breach of contract. he apparently lost the case after failing to appear in court.
His workplace, an Arkansas car dealership, was raided by Homeland Security in late 2019, but it’s unclear whether Duggar was involved in the investigation. It is also not known whether this raid was related to his current arrest.
Last year, Duggar reportedly lost a civil lawsuit over a property dispute.
His arrest on Thursday came just days after it was announced that he and his wife Anna are expecting their seventh child. They are already parents of Mackynzie Renée (11), Michael (9), Marcus (7), Meredith (5), Mason (3) and Maryella (1).
Duggar is expected to appear before a judge on Friday.