FAYETTEVILLE -- At least three police officers downloaded file shares of child pornography from Josh Duggar's computer, but two of them have never been part of the federal prosecution and the third only provided the initial lead, according to court filings.
Duggar, 33, of Springdale, is charged with two counts involving receiving and possessing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks set the case for jury trial Nov. 30.
Duggar, best known for being a part of his family's cable television reality show, is accused of using the internet in May 2019 to download and possess the material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children younger than 12, according to court documents.
The issue of the other officers' downloading files arose after Duggar's lawyers filed a motion last month asking a judge to compel the government to hand over evidence they claimed was being wrongly withheld from the defense.
Federal prosecutors say the information being sought is either nonexistent or is irrelevant.
In court filings, prosecutors explain Detective Amber Kalmer, in Little Rock, used a law enforcement tool to download files depicting the sexual abuse of children directly from Duggar's computer. The detective then sent a lead related to her undercover downloads to Special Agent Gerald Faulkner with Homeland Security Investigations, who determined the IP address was assigned to Duggar's small used car dealership in Springdale at the time of the downloads.
Springdale is in the federal western district of Arkansas and Little Rock is in the eastern district.
Faulkner obtained a warrant to search the business. The dealership's computer and multiple electronic devices belonging to Duggar were seized. Based on forensic evidence found on those devices, among other evidence, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Duggar with receipt and possession of child pornography.
The other officers who downloaded files from Duggar's IP address worked for other departments than Kalmer, played no part in the investigation nor prosecution of the case and didn't provide the prosecution team with any material related to their activity, according to prosecutors. The other officers were likely looking for child pornography like Kalmer. Kalmer's only role was providing Faulkner with her lead.
Prosecutors said they provided the defense screenshots taken by the other two officers simply to make the them aware other officers not involved with the case had also downloaded the same files from Duggar's computer.
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.
Motion to compel
Asks the court to order either the opposing party or a third party to take some action. The motion most commonly deals with evidence discovery disputes, when a party who has propounded discovery to either the opposing party or a third party believes that the discovery responses are insufficient. The motion to compel is used to ask the court to order the non-complying party to produce the documentation or information requested.
Source: Staff reports