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Josh Duggar Child Porn Trial: Family Friend Testifies Alleged Molestation Habits 'Started At 12'

Josh Duggar Child Porn Trial: Family Friend Testifies Josh's Alleged Molestation Habits 'Started At 12'

On Monday, an evidentiary hearing was held in the Josh Duggar case, and it was eye opening, to say the least.

In it, prosecutors  and defense attorneys argued for and against whether they believe old claims about the former reality TV star’s alleged prior molestation actions should be admitted into evidence when Josh goes to trial.

As you’ll recall, the former TLC star (pictured above with his wife, Anna Duggar) is facing one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

Related: Josh Duggar Was Secretly Removed From Sex Offender Registry, Claim New Legal Docs

During Monday’s preliminary hearing, the 33-year-old’s lawyer, Justin Gelfand, was adamant that Josh’s old molestation admissions — in which he revealed to his family he’d allegedly fondled four younger girls back in his early teen years — should not be used as evidence during the trial.

In that alleged old incident, Josh startlingly copped to sexually assaulting the girls back in the early 2000s, just weeks after his 15th birthday. According to testimony during Monday’s evidentiary hearing, which gave detail to the molestations for the first time, Josh allegedly first admitted to doing it in a 2003 conversation with his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. He later confirmed those claims in another 2005 conversation with his parents, and with two of the family’s best friends, Jim and Bobye Holt.

Jim Holt was a childhood friend of Jim Bob (pictured above, inset), and the two families had grown up together. In that context, Bobye was central to Monday’s evidentiary hearing, testifying on the record that her entire family had “loved Josh,” and that the then-teenager had dated the Holts’ oldest daughter for several months in 2002 and 2003 with plans to eventually marry.

That didn’t happen after the young couple stopped seeing each other altogether on March 30, 2003, after Jim Bob called her and asked the Holts to come to the Duggars’ house to “learn what Josh had done.” Bobye testified that Josh admitted to both families that he had inappropriately touched the Holt family’s four girls — identified in court as Jane Does one through four — including one specific incident (below):

“[Josh] explained that Jane Doe four was sitting on his lap during Bible time and he touched her inappropriately. He said it happened that day. On that date, he told us that he touched her vaginal area.”

During that conversation, Josh apparently admitted to touching three other girls, too. That included one alleged instance back in February of 2002 in which he inappropriately touched one of the girls who was “at least three years younger” than Josh. Startled, Bobye testified that Josh’s actions became a pattern of behavior with those early 2002 and 2003 incidents:

“She went and told his parents what he had done and he confessed. … From when he told me … it started at [age] 12 until March 30, 2003.”


In early 2005, Josh apparently went to the Holts with further confessions, according to Bobye. In one evening conversation with the family friends “in early 2005,” the embattled former reality TV star admitted that he touched another one of the girls in a 2003 incident.

Bobye testified that it allegedly happened:

“When she was sitting on his lap he put his hand under her pantaloons and under her panties.”

And in another incident, Bobye claimed Josh told her about another alleged touching incident, explaining:

“[Josh] said that he went to [one of the girls] as she was sleeping and got up under her blanket to start touching her and she woke up and hit him. He told me she snitched on him.”

Horrifically, Bobye also claimed that Jim Bob and his wife, Michelle Duggar, apparently weren’t trying to deal with the situation at all:

“I went to go tell Jim Bob and Michelle but they said they didn’t want to hear it. People began to be aware. … Something else happened in Little Rock that made Josh leave our home.”


Related: Josh Duggar’s Wife Gives Birth To Seventh Child Amid Sex Crime Charges

Jim Bob also took the stand on Monday after Bobye Holt, testifying about what he called Josh’s “inappropriate touching” actions and repeatedly saying “I don’t remember” to questions posed by the prosecution. He further detailed how he “tried to handle” the allegations in his own way before eventually removing Josh from their home at some point several years later.

While Jim Bob denied that Josh had touched any of the girls’ genitals, instead alleging the young boy had only touched their breasts, the family patriarch did acknowledge that Josh came to him and his wife, Michelle, “around 2002” to explain what was going on.

Jim Bob said:

“He had told me that he had touched some of the girls when they were sleeping on their breasts … they didn’t wake up. We were shocked this had happened, but we were thankful he came on his own and told us.”

The 56-year-old former Arkansas State Senate hopeful also testified that the problems continued beyond that, with another unspecified incident coming a year later:

“There was, yes, an incident that he told us about after the first incident. … [Josh] had crossed some line right at that age of curiosity, at 14, your hormones are kicking in. … We tried to handle things in house. It was a very difficult time in our family’s life.”

Jim Bob even claimed that they took Josh to law enforcement on the advice of Jim Holt, explaining:

“We did even take Josh to the Arkansas State Police on the recommendation of Jim Holt. … Josh confessed everything to Arkansas State Police.”

That resulted in “a stern lecture” from a state trooper friend of Jim Bob’s, but it doesn’t appear much else happened. People reports that a later investigation in 2006 didn’t result in any charges against Josh, as the statute of limitations had expired by then. Things got very interesting in court when prosecutor Carly Marshall brought the original molestation police report into evidence — apparently still watermarked with the In Touch logo, after that outlet had initially uncovered it with a Freedom Of Information Act request years ago.

Enraged at the report’s presence in the courtroom, Jim Bob flew into anger, turning to the judge and demanding action:

“I’m not gonna allow it. Are you gonna allow for that?”

Unimpressed, the judge bit right back at Jim Bob, saying:

“If there is [an] objection to be made, someone will make it but it won’t be you.”


Jim Bob was clearly still steamed about the whole thing, responding to the prosecution:

“For you guys to use a tabloid to bring it back up is very unprofessional.”

But the judge had to remind him that he was in court and under oath:

“Mr. Duggar, I recognize this is perhaps a very unfair position that you’re placed in and I appreciate that. But this is not a debate.”


As for Josh’s upcoming trial, jury selection begins on Tuesday. Surely, we’ll have further updates from the trial as they become available.

[Image via YouTube]

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Nov 30, 2021 08:02am PDT