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Feds charge Duggar with possessing material depicting sexual abuse of children

by Ron Wood | April 30, 2021 at 12:56 p.m.
Joshua Duggar

FAYETTEVILLE — Joshua James Duggar of Springdale pleaded not guilty Friday to child pornography charges.

Duggar, 33, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann and pleaded not guilty to one charge of receipt of child pornography and one charge of possession of child pornography.

Duggar is accused of using the internet in May 2019 to download and possess material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, according to court documents.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.

Wiedemann declined to set a bond for Duggar who is being held at the Washington County jail. He appeared at the hearing via Zoom. She set a detention hearing for May 5.

Wiedemann said if Duggar is allowed to bond out he will be required to live with a third party custodian who can assure he remains in compliance with terms of bond. He must reside in a location with no minors or where there will be no minors visiting without supervision.

Duggar and his wife Anna announced on Instagram about a week ago that she is pregnant with their seventh child, a baby girl.

U.S. Marshals arrested Duggar on Thursday. A pretrial hearing was set for July 1 and a July 6 court date was set before U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks.

Duggar told Wiedemann, when asked, that he has never been treated for a mental illness. He is represented by Travis Story, Gregory Payne and Justin Gelfend.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Marshall and Dustin Roberts, and Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

Duggar is the oldest of 19 children of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. The family were stars of the TLC cable channel show 19 Kids and Counting. The show was cancelled after in 2015 after it was revealed that Joshua Duggar had been the subject of a Springdale police investigation in 2006 that as a juvenile he fondled five young girls at home. He was not charged with any crimes connected to the incidents.

[Read the indictment here: nwaonline.com/430indictment/]

This story was originally published at 11:44 a.m.

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