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Josh Duggar Child Porn Trial Judge Explains Why He Wouldn't Dismiss Damning Evidence

Josh Duggar was arrested by federal agents in Washington County, Arkansas on Thursday.

Josh Duggar is heading to trial.

As we previously reported, the embattled reality star’s team filed several motions to dismiss evidence in his upcoming child pornography trial. This included a motion to suppress statements Duggar allegedly made to federal agents during the course of their investigation, a motion to dismiss the case due to investigators failing to “preserve potentially exculpatory evidence,” a motion to suppress photographs of Josh’s hands and feet taken while he was in custody, and a motion to dismiss the indictment because of technicalities over who was running the Department of Homeland Security at the time of their investigation.

Related: Josh Was Secretly REMOVED From Sex Offender Registry, Claim Legal Docs

In a memo filed on Wednesday, District Judge Timothy L. Brooks explained in detail why each of these motions had been dismissed. Firstly, he stated that “because Mr. Duggar was never in custody” when he made certain statements (which allegedly included asking, “What is this about? Has somebody been downloading child pornography?”), those statements would not be suppressed.

Instead, the judge argued that Josh was well aware that he was free to leave at any time:

“It is also undisputed that the passenger-side door next to where Mr. Duggar was seated remained unlocked throughout the interview. The Court therefore finds that Mr. Duggar was not restrained, and this factor weighs in the Government’s favor.”

The memo continued:

“Not only did Mr. Duggar sign a form demonstrating he understood he was waiving his right to counsel, but he also manifested a clear understanding of the waiver and the voluntariness of his actions by reminding the agents before questioning began that he ‘may not answer everything.'”

In fact, the court acknowledged that one of the statements made by federal agents during the interview could be “seen as a deceptive strategy,” but “Mr. Duggar did not fall for” it.

We’ve been a little weirded out that photos of the political consultant’s hands and feet were involved in the case (if you think about why such photos would be needed in a trial like this, you can understand why). According to Brooks, the pics were taken because an agent “noticed a scar on Duggar’s left thumb” while he was being fingerprinted (his feet just happened to be in the shot). The filing elaborated:

“There is no legal authority to suggest agents needed a warrant before they could photograph Mr. Duggar’s hands and feet. Mr. Duggar consented to being photographed. Therefore, no fourth Amendment violation occurred.”

The Homeland Security technicality was dismissed as simply “frivolous.” Brooks wrote that there is “no legal support for Mr. Duggar’s claim that an indictment handed down by a properly impaneled grand jury would be subject to dismissal due to an alleged Appointments Clause violation.”

Related: Josh’s Child Porn Arrest Causes Family Civil War — Who Still Has His Back??

Finally, there’s the whole “failed to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence” thing, which basically means they didn’t examine any other devices besides the ones that belonged to Josh. Regarding this motion, the judge ruled:

“The Court finds that law enforcement’s decision not to forensically search and image certain electronic devices was made pursuant to a good-faith belief that such additional investigative steps were unnecessary. Valid reasons may exist to criticize law enforcement’s thoroughness (or lack thereof) on cross-examination, but the Court is simply not persuaded that law enforcement’s actions rise to the level of a constitutional deprivation of due process that would require the dismissal of the indictment against Mr. Duggar.”

All in all, no luck for Josh heading into his November 30 trial date. His legal team will have to contend with all this evidence as they try to support his “not guilty” plea next month.

[Image via Washington County Police Dept]

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Oct 14, 2021 10:23am PDT

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