Josh Duggar has been arrested for receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children, court documents have revealed.
The docs state that Duggar allegedly used the Internet to download child sexual abuse material. He allegedly possessed the material, some of which depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
— Garrett Fergeson (@Garrett_Photo) April 30, 2021
On Friday, Duggar’s lawyers issued a statement.
“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,” said attorneys Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne.
“In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime,” the statement continued. “But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”
Duggar will remain in custody until May 5, when a detention hearing to seek bond will be held. A pretrial hearing is set for July 1 and a trial is then set for July 6.
The docs continued, “This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit: www.justice.gov/psc.”
The reality TV star was arrested in Arkansas on Thursday. He was held in a detention centre without bail after federal agents took him into custody, ET Canada previously confirmed.
Josh’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a statement on the Duggar Family website, which read: “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious.
“It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
According to TMZ, in November 2019 Homeland Security investigated the car dealership Duggar works at in connection to a federal probe.
The reality TV star also has a civil lawsuit filed against him for real estate fraud.