Former TLC star Josh Duggar appeared before a federal court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to two counts of receiving or possessing child pornography.
Duggar, the former star of the reality show "19 Kids and Counting," was arrested by federal authorities Thursday, with newly filed court documents alleging Duggar knowingly possessed and received child pornography in May 2019.
According to local NBC affiliate KNWA, Duggar on Friday morning appeared virtually over Zoom before U.S. District Court Judge Erin Wiedemann of the Western District of Arkansas.
Duggar’s charges were not read aloud during the hearing by request of his defense team, though he pleaded not guilty to both counts.
If the 33-year-old is convicted, he could spend up to 20 years in prison, as well as face fines of a maximum of $250,000 for each count.
The ex-reality TV star is scheduled to appear in court for the start of his trial on July 6.
Duggar is expected to remain in custody until a May 5 detention hearing. KNWA reported that Wiedemann requested that Duggar have a third-party custodian should he be released on bond, as well as be in a residence without minors present.
According to the indictment from a federal grand jury dated Wednesday, Duggar is suspected of having “knowingly received child pornography” and “knowingly possessed material that contained images of child pornography … including images of minors under the age of 12.”
The Hill has reached out to one of Duggar’s defense attorneys, Travis Story, for comment.
Records from the Washington County Sheriff's office showed that Duggar was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Thursday and was being held without bail.
TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” was pulled from TLC in 2015 following reports that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager.
Duggar's father, former Arkansas state Rep. Jim Bob Duggar (R), said that he notified an Arkansas state trooper a year after he was made aware of the incident.
The trooper reportedly gave Josh Duggar a "stern" talking to, and his parents told authorities that he was receiving Christian-based counseling.
Josh Duggar later that year posted a statement on the family's official website apologizing for a pornography addiction and being "unfaithful" to his wife, Anna.
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," he said at the time. "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."
Anna Duggar just days before her husband’s arrest announced on Instagram that they were expecting their seventh child together.