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Appeals court upholds Josh Duggar’s conviction for downloading child sex abuse images

by Lucas Garcia
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Josh Duggar's conviction

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed Josh Duggar’s conviction for downloading images depicting child sexual abuse on Monday. The conviction was challenged by Duggar, the former star of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” who is currently serving a 12 1/2-year sentence since his conviction in 2021.

The case started when a Little Rock police detective traced the downloading of child sexual abuse material to Duggar’s computer. The evidence included images downloaded in 2019 on a computer located at Duggar’s car dealership.

Duggar’s defense argued that his statements made to investigators without his attorney present should have been suppressed at trial. However, the court found that Duggar was informed of his rights and told he could leave at any time, and he wasn’t arrested at the end of questioning. He even terminated the interview himself.

Justin Gelfand, Duggar’s attorney, expressed disagreement with the court’s decision, indicating they would explore further legal options.

The appeals court also dismissed Duggar’s contention that his attorneys should have been allowed to question a former employee’s past sex-offense conviction who had used the same computer. The court concluded that the judge handled the situation appropriately, and rejected Duggar’s objections to the qualifications of an analyst linking his iPhone to the crime.

TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 after allegations emerged that Duggar had previously molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Subsequent investigations found the statute of limitations had expired. Duggar’s family disclosed his private apology, followed by a public apology for unspecified conduct. He resigned from his position as a lobbyist for a conservative Christian group, publicly confessed to infidelity and a pornography addiction, and subsequently sought treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Josh Duggar’s conviction

Who is Josh Duggar?

Josh Duggar is a former reality television star known for his family’s show on TLC, “19 Kids and Counting.”

What was Josh Duggar convicted of?

Josh Duggar was convicted of downloading images depicting child sexual abuse.

How long is Josh Duggar’s prison sentence?

Josh Duggar is serving a 12 1/2-year prison sentence.

Why did his attorneys believe the conviction should be overturned?

Duggar’s attorneys argued that statements he made to investigators during a search without his attorney present should have been suppressed at trial. They also raised issues related to a former employee’s past conviction and the qualifications of an analyst.

What was the decision of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals?

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Duggar’s conviction, rejecting his arguments and confirming that the trial was conducted appropriately.

Why was “19 Kids and Counting” canceled?

“19 Kids and Counting” was canceled in 2015 after allegations surfaced that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter years earlier.

What were Duggar’s public apologies about?

Duggar publicly apologized for unspecified behavior and later for cheating on his wife. He also admitted to having a pornography addiction and sought treatment for it.

More about Josh Duggar’s conviction

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