Josh Duggar appeared for his detention hearing on Wednesday. Ahead of the event, his lawyers filed paperwork citing why he should not be considered a flight risk and why he should be allowed release.
Both Jill Duggar and Amy Duggar King were present at Wednesday’s court date. Given the situation with Jill and her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and the bond she shares with her cousin, it was likely not easy for her to attend.
During the hearing, People reports that the Homeland Security agent who testified, Gerald Faulkner, described some of the images — reported to be of children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years old — as “in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.”
It was also claimed that Anna Duggar had been keeping an eye on Josh’s internet surfing habits. According to Faulkner, the Duggar son had a program installed on his computers called Covenant Eyes, which is an “accountability software” meant to assist pornography addicts in keeping accountable by monitoring internet activity and sending reports about objectionable internet use to an accountability partner. In this case, reports are said to have been sent to Anna Duggar.
However, the agent testified that Josh had been able to circumvent that accountability due to the password-protected network he was using.
It was also claimed on Wednesday that, while FBI agents raided the Duggar car lot that previously employed Josh, and before agents had informed him of why they were investigating, he asked, “What is this about? Has someone been downloading child pornography?
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After that, Josh was reportedly asked directly about whether he had been receiving or viewing child sexual abuse material and is said to have responded, “I’d rather not answer that question.”
After a long day in court, the judge did agree to allow Josh Duggar to be released on bail until the trial begins. He will be let out on Thursday, May 6, and will have to remain with his third-party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber. He will be allowed to see his children for unlimited time, provided Anna Duggar is there with them.
Stipulations include no contact with any other minor children, including his nieces and nephews. Before adjourning for the day, the judge told Josh, “Don’t make me regret this decision.”
What is next for Josh Duggar?
For now, Josh Duggar will remain confined to the Reber home with GPS tracking to monitor his movement.
While he is allowed to see his own six children, his wife, Anna Duggar, will have to be present every moment. She is currently pregnant with the couple’s seventh child and is due sometime this fall.
What are the charges against Josh Duggar?
On April 29, Josh Duggar turned himself in, with Anna Duggar by his side, on a warrant issued for possession and distribution of child pornography depicting children 12 or younger.
He pled not guilty in front of the court on April 30, with his new high-profile attorney, Justin Gelfand, and his regular attorney, Travis Story. The two then got to work on petitioning the court for bail for the former reality TV star.
The trial is set to begin in July, and if convicted of both counts he was indicted for, Josh Duggar is looking at doing 20 years of prison time per count, with a maximum fine of $250,000 per count.
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