Story at a glance
- Josh Duggar is going on trial in Arkansas for charges of possessing and receiving child pornography.
- The judge ruled that the jury can hear testimony claiming Duggar previously admitted to molesting four girls nearly 20 years ago.
The judge presiding over Josh Duggar’s child pornoraphy trial ruled that jurors will be allowed to hear evidence that Duggar allegedly admitted to molesting four girls nearly 20 years ago.
The jury will be allowed to hear testimony from a family friend, who testified Monday during a pretrial hearing that Duggar admitted to her in 2003 he had molested four girls. The four girls were his sisters, and he later acknowledged sexually assaulting a babysitter.
Duggar’s attorneys argued that because he was never charged that the allegations and admission have no relevance to his current childpornography trial. However, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks rejected the defense’s motion.
“The child pornography victims in this case are approximately the same ages as the victims of defendant’s hands-on child-molestation offenses,” Brooks said in his ruling, according to The Associated Press. “Accordingly, the prior act evidence is probative of defendant’s sexual interest in underage children and his propensity for exploiting young girls.”
The trial began Tuesday in Fayetteville, Ark., Duggar, 33, is facing federal charges on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography, with prosecutors alleging that Duggar was in possession of 200 or more images showing the sexual abuse of children ranging from toddlers to 12-year-olds.
If convicted, Duggar would face 20 years in prison, as well as fines of up to $250,000 for each count. Duggar has pleaded not guilty.
Duggar and his extended family were the subject of the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” which was removed from air in 2015 after it was revealed that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager.
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