Josh Duggar was arraigned in federal court today on federal charges, not revealed then because he waived the reading of the charge, but a subsequent news release revealed he faces charges of receipt and possession of material depicting child sexual abuse.
Federal Magistrate Erin Wiedemann set a bond hearing May 5.
“Given the nature of the charges against him the court would likely require a third-party custodian that could live with him and would ensure compliance with the conditions of bond,” she warned.
She also said Duggar would not be allowed to have minors around him if he were released.
UPDATE: Soon after, the U.S. attorney’s office revealed Duggar faces charges related to receipt and possession of material depicting the sexual abuse of children:
A Springdale man was arrested yesterday for receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children.
According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material. Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.
Duggar is charged by indictment with receiving and possessing child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.00 on each count.. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit: www.justice.gov/psc.
Acting U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jack Staton of Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans made the announcement.
This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations Fayetteville and the Northwest Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Marshall and Dustin Roberts, and Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
Duggar, 33, is being held in the Washington County jail. He is married and the father of six, with a seventh on the way. He’s reportedly been in the used car business, a fall from his role as a national lobbyist for a conservative religious-political organization following disclosure of his past investigation for child molestation (of members of the Duggar clan of “19 and Counting” reality TV fame.)
It says he obtained by mail or computer images of children under 12 in May 2019.
CNN obtained this statement from his attorneys:
“We intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do,” Duggar’s attorneys Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne said in an email to CNN Friday.
People magazine got a comment from Josh Duggar’s parents:
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious,” their joint statement on Friday reads.
“It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family,” it continues.