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Josh Duggar’s Trial Has Started, And A Duggar Relation Had To Be Dismissed As Juror

Josh Duggar’s trial over child pornography allegations finally kicked off at the tail end of November. It took months for the trial to finally get underway, as the former 19 Kids and Counting star’s lawyers looked to gain some additional time to sift through evidence and file motions and appeals. But kick off the trial finally did, and mostly without a hitch, although there was one snafu when a potential juror had to declare himself related to the reality star. 

Duggar’s trial is being held in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Given many in the family reside in Arkansas, I suppose it isn’t a huge surprise that a family relation could come up during the jury process, given how many Duggar children are out there and connected to the community. (Jim Bob and Michelle have 19 kids after all, many of whom are married.) Per court reports (via People) the judge reportedly remarked about the juror making it into the pool: 

I would have thought we would have had a filter in place to check for that but I guess no.

Apparently, the situation was that the man in question had a daughter who is married to one of Josh Duggars’ siblings, though it’s unclear which one. This wasn’t the only potential juror who was quickly dismissed. A woman pregnant with twins was also recused from the proceedings as the trial got underway, among others. In fact, 52 jurors ultimately went through the jury process and of those 52, the trial ultimately found 12 jurors and four alternates.

Reportedly, having knowledge of the Duggar family or knowing about the TLC reality shows highlighting the family, including 19 Kids and Counting On, did not automatically disqualify potential jurors unless it had "solidified" someone's "beliefs." Now, heading into December, the actual trial will begin.

If Convicted, How Long Could Josh Duggar Spend In Jail?

Josh Duggar faces two counts in this trial: one for receiving child pornography and one for possession of child pornography. The pornography was allegedly found on a computer the former reality star used at his place of work, then a used car business. Because there are two counts he is facing, the amount of jail time he could be sentenced to is not super straightforward. 

Basically Duggar faces up to 20 years and up to $250,000 in fines for each count he ultimately gets charged with. Since there are two counts, that could be a 40-year sentence and a boatload of fines. Josh Duggar would need to be found guilty before any of these numbers can be considered, but authorities have said more than 200 illicit images were found on the computer in question. 

In addition, a federal agent who was present on the day of Josh Duggar’s arrest last April has already testified about what he had seen. He’d called some of the images on the computer among “the worst” he’d “ever seen.” 

In the months since, the reality personality has awaited trial whilst out on bail, staying in a third party home. His lawyers filed various motions, most of which were ultimately denied before the trial got underway. One question that does remain: Will earlier reports of Josh Duggar molesting young women include his siblings be incorporated into the trial? A separate lawsuit is still in the process of going through the court system related to that report going public 

Through all of the proceedings leading up to jury selection, Duggar’s wife, Anna Duggar, has reportedly remained by his side. She announced the birth of the couple’s seventh child in a rare return to social media last month. 

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.