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Former reality TV star Josh Duggar faces child porn charges

Published:Saturday | May 1, 2021 | 6:36 PM
This photo provided by the Washington County (Arkansas) Jail shows Joshua Duggar. The former reality TV star is being held in the northwest Arkansas jail after being arrested on Thursday by federal authorities.
This photo provided by the Washington County (Arkansas) Jail shows Joshua Duggar. The former reality TV star is being held in the northwest Arkansas jail after being arrested on Thursday by federal authorities.

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (AP):

Former reality TV star Josh Duggar faces charges of downloading and possessing child pornography under a federal indictment unsealed on Friday.

Federal prosecutors announced the indictment a day after Duggar was arrested by US Marshals in northwest Arkansas. Prosecutors said Duggar possessed the material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.

Duggar, 33, pleaded not guilty at a hearing on Friday. His attorneys said they planned to defend his case "aggressively and thoroughly".

"In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime," the attorneys said in a statement. "But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do."

A federal judge set a May 5 detention hearing and a July 6 trial date.

Duggar starred on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting until it was pulled from the network in 2015 over revelations Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar's parents said he had confessed to the fondling and apologised.

Duggar previously apologised for a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife.

If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years' imprisonment and fines up to US$250,000 on each count.