Enrichment Arts & Culture

Former reality-TV star Josh Duggar asks for acquittal in child pornography case

Story at a glance

  • Josh Duggar, subject of the reality-TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography by a jury in December.
  • Now Duggar’s attorney has filed a motion for acquittal or a new trial.
  • The motion argues that a “necessary witness” was unfairly prevented from being called to the stand.

A jury found Josh Duggar, subject of the hit reality-TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography last month and now his lawyer is asking the court to acquit Duggar. 

Duggar’s attorney filed a motion on Wednesday asking the court to acquit his client of downloading and possessing child pornography, arguing Duggar was unfairly prevented from calling a “necessary witness” during the seven-day trial, according to Insider. 

That witness was an employee of Duggar’s used car lot in Arkansas, where federal authorities discovered a computer that had been used to download videos and photos of child sexual abuse. The employee was a registered sex offender who had “regularly used the desktop computer in the months and weeks leading up to May 2019,” according to Duggar’s attorney. 

The motion also details how the former employee sent an email to prosecutors saying they were in fact at Duggar’s used car lot between May 8–11 but did not recall if they had used Duggar’s computer. The employee allegedly sent another follow up email to prosecutors after the trial had started, which included social media passwords of several other Duggar siblings. 


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All the emails exchanged amount to Duggar being “deprived of materially exculpatory evidence until the evening before the government rested its case,” said Duggar’s attorneys, according to Insider.  

If the motion to acquit is denied, Duggar’s attorney is requesting a new trial be granted. 

During Duggar’s trial, the jury was allowed to hear testimony from a family friend who said Duggar admitted to her in 2003 that he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter.  

Duggar’s defense team argued that because he was never charged with the allegations and admission, it holds no relevance to his current child pornography trial, but U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks rejected that motion. 

Duggar was found guilty in December and faces up to 20 years in prison along with fines of up to $250,000 for each count.  


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