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Judge in Duggar child porn case denies motions to dismiss, suppress evidence

by Ron Wood | September 28, 2021 at 9:43 a.m.
This photo provided by the Washington County (Ark.) Jail shows Joshua Duggar. Former reality TV Star Josh Duggar is being held in a northwest Arkansas jail after being arrested, Thursday, April 29, 2021 by federal authorities, but it’s unclear what charges he may face. (Washington County Arkansas Jail via AP)

FAYETTEVILLE -- A federal judge has denied requests to suppress evidence or dismiss child pornography charges against Josh Duggar.

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 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.

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

Brooks denied a motion Monday to suppress statements Duggar made to investigators. The motion said Duggar wasn't allowed to call his lawyer and was then questioned without his lawyer being present.

Federal authorities in November 2019, served a search warrant at the address of a used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, run by Duggar. Duggar's cell phone was seized as part of the search.

The government contends Duggar was never placed in custody when the search warrant was being served. Duggar was given his Miranda warning and was free to leave at any time, but voluntarily chose to talk with investigators, according to the government.

Brooks also denied a motion to dismiss the case because the government, according to Duggar's lawyers, failed to preserve evidence that could potentially have aided Duggar's defense.

Duggar's attorneys argued that federal investigators never examined the phones of three people they contacted who had access to the dealership.

Federal prosecutors have said investigators found no relevant evidence on the phones. The investigation also showed none of the three individuals were present on Duggar's car lot when his computer was used to download child sexual abuse material, according to prosecutors.

Brooks dismissed a motion claiming the case should be dismissed because the two acting secretaries of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the time of the Duggar investigation weren't properly appointed.

Brooks also dismissed a motion to suppress photos of Duggar's hands and feet that were taken after Duggar was in custody.

Print Headline: Judge won't dismiss Duggar charges

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