Josh Duggar granted release Thursday with hefty list of stipulations

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Josh Duggar. Fayetteville, AR, federal court. 4/30.2021. Sketches by John Kushmaul

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Joshua Duggar was granted release by U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas Judge Christy Comstock as early as Thursday.

Duggar, 33, is charged in a two-count indictment alleging one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Duggar has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The four-hour hearing was held via Zoom on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Josh Duggar held in the Washington County Jail for a detention hearing. | Artist John Kushmaul

PARTIAL CONDITIONS OF RELEASE LIST

  • Home custody with GPS monitoring
  • Live with a third-party custodian 
  • Restricted to the home at all times except for court obligations, church, etc. Additional locations must be pre-approved by the probation officer.
  • Report to the probation officer.
  • No possession or viewing erotica at any time
  • No possession of the internet and electronics. Not ask or obtain password(s) of the third-party custodian.
  • Contact allowed with his children as long as his wife is present.
  • Not possess control substances, no firearms, surrender passport, and not obtain one.
  • The residence must not have minor children.
  • If any conditions are violated an additional prison sentence of up to 10 years may be imposed.
Judge Christy Comstock presiding over Josh Duggar’s detention hearing. | Artist: John Kushmaul

On Tuesday, Duggar’s legal team of Travis Story and Justin Gelfand requested for their client to be allowed to go home and be with this pregnant wife and their six children, but that was nixed.

The trial is expected to begin in early July.

If Duggar is convicted on both charges, using the internet to download child sexual abuse material and possessing said material of children 12 and younger, he faces 40 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for both counts.

Duggar and his wife Anna have six children and another on the way.

DETENTION HEARING TESTIMONY WITNESS TIMELINE

Homeland Security Investigator Special Agent Gerald Faulkner: Outlined the HSI investigation from 2019 through 2021. He said Duggar’s alleged actions, over 17 months (Nov. 2019), were uncovered by Little Rock police about a person doing peer-to-peer file sharing from a computer in Northwest Arkansas. Faulkner explained that using peer-to-peer is where child porn can be obtained by Bit Torrent files.

Faulkner also alleged Josh used the dark web. HSI agents zeroed in on the location and determined the computer(s) were at a wholesale car dealership in Springdale and belonged to Josh Duggar. Faulkner said federal search warrants were obtained and investigated the case from there.

Agents said they are sure Josh is the person who downloaded the child porn because the password he used has the same last four digits he used for his family social media accounts.

Federal Probation Officer Diem Nguyen: Recommends Duggar should remain in custody. The husband and wife recommended as the third-party custodian have concerns with Duggar staying at the house.

Nguyen said sometimes there are minor children at the house for music lessons, pistols are in the home, and the woman, who is home full-time, feels uncomfortable being alone with Duggar since her husband works full-time.

Third-Party Custodians: A couple has agreed to make concessions should Josh come live at their home. For example, music lessons would be taught at another location and weapons would be removed.

This couple said they have a mother-in-law suite where Josh would stay through the duration of the trial. The couple, who know the Duggars from church, received a call from Jim Bob about being a third-party custodian, who briefly explained Josh’s situation.

U.S. Attorneys questioned the couple about Josh’s past sexual molestations involving young children and “the Duggar’s live a very public life.” The couple said they were not promised anything by Jim Bob in return for allowing Josh to stay at the home. The couple said they were willing to help.

The judge stressed to the couple that if Josh were to violate any conditions, that the first call would be to the parole officer and not to Jim Bob, or the church.

CLOSING ARGUMENTS BY PROSECUTION & DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

U.S. Attorneys: Take into consideration the danger to the community. He has hidden his illegal activities. We know that the child porn involves toddlers and young children. He has a history dating back 20 years that shows his attraction to children.

U.S. Attorneys for the Western District of Arkansas

Defense Attorneys: Consider our request because the case warrants it. There is a third-party custodian who is willing to offer a place for Josh. The case has been investigated for about two years and during that time [Josh] has complied with all law enforcement directives. He is presumed innocent and this hearing is not the place to present guilt.

Defense attorney, Justin Gelfand, representing Josh Duggar. | Artist: John Kushmaul

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