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Josh Duggar, former ‘19 Kids and Counting’ star, faces child pornography charges

A mugshot of Josh Duggar
Joshua James Duggar in a Thursday booking photo from Arkansas’ Washington County Jail.
(Washington County Jail via Associated Press)

Josh Duggar, former star of the reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” faces charges of downloading and possessing child pornography under a federal indictment unsealed Friday.

Federal prosecutors announced the indictment a day after Duggar was arrested by U.S. marshals in northwest Arkansas. Prosecutors said Duggar possessed the material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.

Duggar, 33, pleaded not guilty at a hearing Friday. His attorneys said they planned to defend his case “aggressively and thoroughly.”

“In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime,” the attorneys said in a statement. “But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”

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Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the hit TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” said they felt like failures after hearing that when their oldest son, Josh, was a teenager, he was involved in inappropriate conduct with several underage girls, including more than one of his younger sisters.

A federal judge set a detention hearing for Wednesday and a July 6 trial date.

Duggar starred on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” until it was pulled from the network in 2015 over revelations he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar’s parents said he had confessed to the fondling and apologized.

Duggar previously apologized for a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife.

If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each of two counts, for receipt and possession of child pornography.


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