This is absolutely horrific…
Josh Duggar has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, according to multiple media reports published mid-day on Friday.
As you’ll recall, we previously reported on Thursday night how the 33-year-old was arrested by US Marshals in Springdale, Arkansas — though at the time of his arrest, it was unclear why he’d been detained.
According to a press release published Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas, Duggar allegedly used the internet to download images and material (below):
“According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material. Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
Now, after being charged with both possessing and receiving child pornography, the former reality TV star officially pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Friday. He is currently still being held without bond in Washington County, Arkansas, but media reports suggest a hearing upcoming on May 5 will determine whether he could be released ahead of his trial. If he is released, a judge ruled Duggar will be required to stay with a third-party guardian, and no children may be unsupervised around that home.
According to TMZ, Duggar has been “ordered to forfeit any material related to the case to authorities, including turning over any and all computer equipment.” It’s unclear if a warrant has yet been served at his house or anywhere else recently regarding this case.
As of now, his trial is scheduled to begin on July 6, with pre-trial proceedings starting five days earlier. According to Us Weekly, if convicted, the 33-year-old father and husband faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for each count.
As for Josh’s side of the story, his legal counsel of Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story, and Greg Payne shared this statement with TMZ (below):
“Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom—and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”
Just days ago, Josh’s wife Anna Duggar announced that the couple was expecting their seventh child, a girl.
They already share six children together: Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
This whole thing is just… wow.
[Image via TLC/YouTube]