Former TLC Star Josh Duggar Arrested By Federal Agents

josh duggar 19 kids and counting tlc screenshot

Josh Duggar rose to fame as one of the titular kids in TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, but his fame turned to infamy when he was accused of molesting multiple underage girls as a teenager, including four of his sisters, and then was revealed as a member of the Ashley Madison cheating website. Now, Duggar has been arrested by federal agents in Arkansas.

Jail records from Washington County, Arkansas reveal that Josh Duggar was arrested on Thursday, April 29 and booked at just after 1 p.m. CT. The arresting agency is listed as U.S. Marshal, and he is being held without bond for federal court. The records don't detail the specific charges against Duggar. According to a U.S. Marshals Service representative (via People), Duggar was arrested by Homeland Security.

This isn't the first time that Josh Duggar has caught the attention of law enforcement in recent years. According to Arkansas news network KNWA-TV, a Homeland Security Investigations spokesperson confirmed that Homeland Security raided Duggar's place of employment in November 2019, as part of an "ongoing federal criminal investigation," but there were no charges filed, and no official comment as to whether Duggar was involved.

Just a couple of months earlier, in September of 2019, Kark reported that a three-day jury trial was set for Josh Duggar after he was accused of fraud and breaching a contract. At the time, the trial was scheduled for April 2020. As to whether his arrest on April 29, 2021 is connected to either the 2019 real estate lawsuit or the Homeland Security raid in November 2019, that information is currently unavailable.

Josh Duggar actually was back in the news less than a week before his arrest, although for a very different reason. His wife Anna Duggar announced that she and her husband are expecting their seventh child. A gender reveal showed that the next Duggar child will be a girl, and due in the fall. Anna and Josh Duggar have been married since 2008, with their marriage predating the reports of molestation going public in 2015 and the Ashley Madison scandal.

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The molestation controversy that happened several years before his recent arrest began brewing back in May 2015 when reports surfaced that Josh Duggar had molested underage girls between 2002 and 2003, with his sisters among them. He ultimately addressed the situation on The Duggar Family website with a statement saying:

Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.

The situation caused enough public controversy that TLC ultimately cancelled 19 Kids and Counting, although the franchise would pick up again and is currently ongoing with Counting On. Duggar also filed a lawsuit about the original report's release, with his sisters suing as well.

As for what the current federal case against him means for his future and whether it is connected to his previous legal issues, only time will. Josh Duggar isn't on social media, but wife Anna has not commented on the arrest on her Instagram page, and the Duggar website hasn't been updated with a statement either at the time of writing.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).