FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jurors found former reality TV star Josh Duggar guilty Thursday of downloading and possessing child pornography following a week-long trial.
Jurors got the case against Duggar, 33, Wednesday and deliberated for about six hours before returning with their verdict. Attorneys for Duggar plan to appeal the conviction, KFSM-TV reported.
Authorities arrested Duggar, who appeared on more than 115 episodes of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography in April. Investigators accused Duggar of using the internet to download child pornography in May 2019. The images, which were downloaded at a used car lot that Duggar owns in Springdale, depicted children as young as 7 years old, KFSM reported.
In court, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Gerald Faulkner testified that agents seized Duggar’s iPhone and multiple computers in 2019 and found a Linux partition on one of the computers meant to get around software that notified his wife if he viewed pornography, according to KFSM.
Defense attorneys argued that someone else could have used Duggar’s computer to access the pornographic files. Forensic computer analyst Michele Bush testified that the Linux partition was used for only short amounts of time and that the computer was not secure, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
“Evidence leads me to believe (the pornography was accessed) with command lines,” she said in court, according to the Democrat-Gazette. “I think there’s evidence to suggest it was remote.”
Federal computer forensic analyst James Fottrell testified that a backup of Duggar’s iPhone showed it was at the car lot on the dates and at the times when the pornography was downloaded and shared to the computer, KNWA reported. He said the evidence was “not fitting the pattern of someone connecting remotely,” according to the news station.
A family friend, Bobye Holt, also testified in court that Duggar had told her that he had inappropriately touched four girls who were between three and 10 years younger than him when he was 15 years old, the Democrat-Gazette reported.
Duggar appeared in “19 Kids and Counting” from 2008 to 2014. The show was canceled in 2015 after a report from InTouch Weekly detailed allegations that he had molested several young girls while he was a teenager. In a subsequent interview with Fox News, his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, confirmed he’d told them about the incidents.
With his conviction, Josh Duggar faces as many as 20 years in prison for each of the two counts filed against him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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