“According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas said in a press release on Friday, April 30. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
Duggar pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment on Friday. He is still being held without bond but can request to be released during a hearing set for May 5. His trial is scheduled to begin July 6, with pretrial proceedings beginning five days earlier. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count.
The former 19 Kids and Counting star, 33, was taken into custody and placed on a federal hold at the Washington County jail in Arkansas. He was detained without bond.
The news broke just days after his wife, Anna Duggar, announced that the couple are expecting their seventh child. They share six children together: Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
Anna, 32, revealed their latest pregnancy news in an Instagram post on Friday, April 23. “It’s a GIRL!!!!!” she wrote. “We are overjoyed to announce baby seven is on the way and we can’t wait to hold her in our arms this fall!”
When a commenter asked her if Josh even worked to support the pair’s large family, Anna clapped back, “Yes, my husband is a diligent worker and provides well for our family.”
The Duggars wed in 2008 after dating for just over a year. In May 2015, InTouch Weekly acquired a police report alleging that Josh had molested five underage girls between 2002 and 2003, when he was 14 and 15 years old. He responded to the accusations in a statement posted to his family’s Facebook page.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” he said at the time. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
Three months later, Josh confessed to cheating on Anna after his name appeared in a data breach for the dating website Ashley Madison, which caters to people in relationships seeking to have affairs.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” Josh said in a statement at the time. “While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
“We are so thankful for everyone who worked with Josh in this program,” the family said in a March 2016 statement. “It was a crucial first step in recovery and healing for Josh. Josh has now returned to Arkansas, where he will continue professional counseling and focus on rebuilding relationships with his family.”
Following his release from the facility, Josh began marriage counseling with Anna. “It isn’t easy and some days are very difficult,” the couple wrote on their blog in May 2016. “It is a long road to rebuild trust and a truly healthy relationship. We are very thankful for God’s forgiveness, grace and help, as it is our strength and guide to rebuilding our lives. As the future unfolds, we are taking one day at a time and we are grateful for your continued prayers for both of us and our sweet children.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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