Josh Duggar virtually appeared in court on Friday, April 30, where he pleaded not guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography.
The “19 Kids and Counting” star allegedly downloaded from the internet material depicting the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12 in May 2019. He faces a jail sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count if found guilty.
The 33-year-old Duggar is currently in custody at the Washington County Sheriff’s office in Fayetteville, Arkansas as he awaits a bail bond. His lawyers have reportedly already requested a virtual bail hearing on Wednesday. If granted bail, Judge Erin Wiedermann ordered that he must have a third-party custodian.
The former TLC star is also ordered not to return home to his family given the condition that he be “in a residence where there’s no minor in the home.” He shares six minor children with his wife Anna: Maryella, 5 months, Mason, 3, Meredith, 5, Marcus, 7, Michael, 9, and Mackynzie, 11.
Following last week’s court appearance, Duggar’s attorneys on Monday issued a statement in which they vowed to “defend this case aggressively and thoroughly.”
“In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom – and that is exactly what Josh intends to do,” Duggar’s attorneys Justin Gelfand, Travis Story, and Greg Payne said in the statement shared by USA Today.
Duggar’s family has since also spoken up about his arrest and the charges filed against him. His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar shared a joint statement on the family’s website.
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family,” they wrote.
His sister Jessa wrote on her Instagram Story that the family is “saddened to hear of the charges” because “as Christians,” they “stand against any form of pornography or abuse and we desire for the truth to be exposed, whatever that may be.”
News of Duggar’s arrest and child pornography cases came after he and Anna announced they are expecting their 7th child. In 2015, he also confessed to having molested five minor girls when he was 14, two of them were his sisters Jill and Jessa.