Josh Duggar charged with two counts of child pornography and facing up to 20 years in prison
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/30/2021
Josh Duggar has been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography one day after his arrest.
The former 19 Kids and Counting star, 33, appeared at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas via Zoom on Friday and pleaded not guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, Peoplereported.
"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," Josh's attorneys Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne said in a statement obtained by the magazine.
"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."
Josh could be sentenced up to 20 years of prison and fines up to $250,000 if he is convicted.
In May 2019, the former reality TV star allegedly downloaded content of child sexual abuse on the Internet, "some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12," according to a press release.
Josh, who is currently on federal hold in an Arkansas detention center, will reportedly stay in jail until his bond hearing next week.
U.S Chief Magistrate Judge Erin L. Wiedemann said if he is awarded bail, Josh must stay "in a residence where there's no minor in the home." His trial is reportedly scheduled for July 2021.
A representative for the U.S. Marshals Service told People that Josh was arrested by Homeland Security on Thursday and taken to a prison in Arkansas' Washington County.
Josh was ordered to hand over any material related to the case to authorities, including his computer equipment, TMZ reported.
Josh was taken into custody only days after his wife Anna Duggar, 32, announced she's pregnant with the couple's seventh child.
Anna revealed she's expecting another baby Friday, April 23 on Instagram. She posted a video of the baby's gender reveal at the time, which showed Josh and Anna embracing and celebrating the news of having a baby girl on the way.
"It's a GIRL!!!!!" Anna captioned the video. "We are overjoyed to announce baby seven is on the way and we can't wait to hold her in our arms this fall!"
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Josh and Anna got married in 2008 and are parents of Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
Josh and Anna have mostly avoided the spotlight since 2015 when cheating and molestation scandals rocked their Christian family.
Josh completed a seven-month rehab stint at Reformers Unanimous in Rockford, IL, in early 2016 after admitting in August 2015 that he had cheated on Anna and developed an addiction to pornography.
Josh reportedly confessed on the Duggar family website, "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."
"I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him," he continued.
But once Josh left rehab, he was still wrapped up in a legal battle with Danica Dillon, an exotic dancer at the time who claimed Josh had caused her "physical and emotional injuries" during paid sexual encounters in 2015. Dillon alleged intercourse with Josh was rough and traumatizing.
Reports also surfaced in May 2015 Josh had molested a handful of girls, including his own sisters Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar, over a decade prior.
Anna reportedly said she had known about Josh's alarming past before walking down the aisle in 2008 and had forgiven him, however, it was extremely difficult when Josh's "teenage mistakes" came back to haunt them in the press.
Jessa told People at the time Anna takes her "until death do us part" vows very seriously and she had also personally worked to forgive Josh and build trust again.
19 Kids and Counting aired on TLC for seven years until it was canceled in 2015 after Josh's scandals surfaced.
A spinoff show titled Counting On premiered on TLC shortly thereafter in December 2015 and did not feature Josh.
Season 11 of Counting On -- which was initially launched as Jill & Jessa: Counting On -- wrapped in September 2020.