Who is Josh Duggar, former reality star accused of possessing child sexual abuse images?

·2 min read

Josh Duggar, star of 19 Kids and Counting, is on trial for two counts of downloading and possessing child sexual abuse images.

Mr Duggar was arrested in April by US Marshalls who allege that he obtained the images in 2019. Furthermore, Homeland Security testified in May that the images featured the sexual abuse of children including toddlers.

If convicted, Mr Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 (£187,000) per charge.

Mr Duggar has pled “not guilty” and continually stressed his innocence ever since the images were found on a computer at the car dealership he owned.

The 33-year-old has previously been accused of molestation by five underage girls including four of his sisters. Mr Duggar’s father, Jim Bob, testified in an evidentiary hearing on Monday (29 November) that his son admitted to the molestations.

Jim Bob told the court: “We were shocked this had happened but we were thankful he came on his own and told us. He had told me that he had touched some of the girls when they were sleeping on their breasts. They didn’t wake up.”

Mr Duggar’s defence team have attempted to prevent the prosecution from using the claims of molestation in the upcoming trial.

Mr Duggar came to fame on reality show 19 Kids and Counting along with the rest of his family. The series follows Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children (all of whom have names that begin with J) and examines their way of life.

The entire family is homeschooled and the children have limited access to films and TV. The family are also devout Baptists and the series focuses on their faith and their interpretation of it.

19 Kids and Counting was TLC’s highest rated show but was cancelled in 2015 after the claims regarding Mr Duggar molesting underage girls became public.

A spin off entitled Counting On was subsequently produced, which featured the Duggar family without Josh. That show was cancelled earlier this year after Mr Duggar’s arrest.

 (Twitter: Josh Duggar)
(Twitter: Josh Duggar)

Jury selection for the trial starts today (30 November).

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