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Duggar free ahead of child-porn trial

Judge sets multiple terms for release by Ron Wood | May 7, 2021 at 3:16 a.m.
Joshua Duggar

FAYETTEVILLE -- Joshua James Duggar was released Thursday from the Washington County jail while he awaits trial on federal child pornography charges.

Duggar, 33, of Springdale, has pleaded innocent to one charge of receipt of child pornography and one charge of possession of child pornography.

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.

Judge Christy Comstock at a hearing Wednesday allowed Duggar to be released to home detention at the residence of Lacount and Maria Reber, friends of the Duggar family. The judge cautioned Duggar not to make her regret the decision.

Duggar will be allowed to have unlimited contact with his own six children as long as their mother, Anna, is present, but not with any other children, Comstock ruled.

The judge put a litany of other restrictions on Duggar, including electronic monitoring and travel restrictions. She forbade Duggar from accessing the internet or any kind of pornography.

Federal prosecutors opposed Duggar's release, citing the nature and circumstances of the charges. They said many of the 200 or more images he was downloading showed children ranging from toddlers to 12-year-olds.

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

A pretrial hearing is set for July 1 and a trial for July 6 before U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks.

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