Josh Duggar will be sentenced on two counts of child pornography on May 25. The sentencing is the latest step in a long legal process that has shocked Duggar family supporters and prompted the cancellation of the family’s television series, Counting on. Before Judge Timothy L. Brooks hands down a sentence, let’s review everything leading up to this point, including the arrest and trial of Josh Duggar.
Federal agents raided Josh Duggar’s parking lot in November 2019
In November 2019, federal agents raided Josh Duggar’s parking lot, removing evidence including computers and cellphones. Initial reports suggested the FBI was at the Duggar family compound. The Duggar family initially denied the allegations. The FBI said it was not investigating.
Later, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed KNWA, a local news outlet, that agents from their office were at a property owned by the Duggar family. The department spokesperson said the raid was part of an active investigation. They declined to give further details.
Federal agents arrested Josh Duggar on April 29, 2021
Everything seemed to be calming down in northwest Arkansas as the coronavirus (COVID-19) took hold of the nation. The Department of Homeland Security has not released any additional statements. Josh and Anna Duggar announced their seventh pregnancy on April 23. The announcement came just a week before federal agents arrested Josh Duggar.
Josh was taken into custody on April 29. According to multiple sources, he surrendered without incident. His children did not witness the arrest. The disgraced reality star has been charged with possessing and receiving child pornography.
A bail hearing was held in May 2021
On May 5, 2021, Josh was in court for a bail hearing. The prosecution opposed bail, saying Josh was at risk of absconding. A federal judge disagreed. The courts returned Josh to the custody of a third-party guardian.
Under the terms of his bail, Josh was not allowed around minor children who were not his own. He could not access the internet and was only allowed to leave his chaperone’s home for work and medical needs. The courts had to approve any additional outings. Prior to his release, the courts issued Josh with a tracking device and he had to surrender his passport. JThe bond agreement also stipulated that Josh could not spend time alone with his children. Anna Duggar had to be present during all the visits.
The trial for child pornography began on November 30
Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial was originally scheduled for July 2021, but the defense requested a postponement. While the court denied their request for a February 2022 start date, Federal Judge Timothy L. Brooks granted an extension. The trial began on November 30, after a full day of jury selection.
During the trial, both the defense and the prosecution called expert witnesses. The defense argued that an unknown third party could have remotely downloaded infringing content onto Josh Duggar’s laptop.
The prosecution argued that Josh Duggar was the only person on the ground when the content was uploaded. They went on to claim that Josh did everything to create a partition on his computer to access the dark web. The prosecution presented evidence proving that Duggar was the one who partitioned the laptop and downloaded the contents.
They also called Duggar family friend Bobye Holt to testify. Both the prosecution and defense questioned Holt about Josh Duggar’s prior sexual abuse. According to Holt, Josh confessed to molesting several of his sisters and a family friend when he was a teenager. In a previous hearing, the judge ruled that the discussion of prior sexual abuse was admissible in Josh Duggar’s trial.
A jury found the father of seven guilty on December 9
On December 8, after six full days of testimony, the jury began its deliberations. By the evening of December 8, they had still not made a decision and chose to take a break for the day. On December 9, the jury returned a guilty verdict after further deliberation.
The jury found Josh guilty on both counts. Judge Timothy L. Brooks remanded Josh to a local detention center to await sentencing. Josh’s defense team attempted to appeal the decision. More recently, the defense requested a new trial, claiming the prosecution failed to disclose evidence in a timely manner. The motion was denied on May 24.