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Prosecutors In Josh Duggar’s Child Pornography Case Want To Use Explosive Underage Report That's Been The Subject Of Lawsuits

Josh Duggar grinning in 19 Kids and Counting Clip, TLC
(Image credit: TLC)

As we inch closer and closer to Josh Duggar’s trial date at the end of the month, more details have emerged regarding what Duggar’s team has failed to suppress and what the prosecution may bring up during the court case. This week, another new detail emerged about the prosecution and one other facet of Duggar’s life that looks like it very well may play a role in the trial: the molestation scandal that came out back in 2015 and has subsequently been the subject of multiple lawsuits.

What Is The Story Behind The Molestation Report And Subsequent Duggar Lawsuits? 

Josh Duggar’s arrest by federal agents in April of this year wasn’t the first time he’d had some trouble with a law. As a young man, he admitted to molesting some of his sisters and five young women in total while they were sleeping. The molestations occurred back in 2006, before 17, 18 and 19 Kids and Counting began airing on TLC. 

However, because Josh Duggar and the young ladies mentioned in the molestation report were underage at the time the report was filed it was ultimately sealed in county records but was uncovered years later when a Freedom of Information Act request was put in to the city of Springdale, Arkansas. The report was uncovered, it went public and it had ramifications for both the victims and the perpetrator. 

In fact, while Josh Duggar was ultimately pulled off of reality TV and 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled, his famous sisters felt they had to address what happened publicly. They spoke with Megyn Kelly to share their feelings as victims but also as people who had been thrust into the limelight unwillingly about a report they said they felt was not public business.  Even today, the Duggar sisters are suing over the molestation report that ended 19 Kids and Counting as Josh prepares for his own trial. 

That’s a lot to take in, but now the molestation report has been known and discussed in public by two of the Duggar sisters, Jessa and Jill, it could also become a part of this new court case. 

How Josh Duggar’s Molestation Report Could Play A Role In His Child Pornography Trial

Like his sisters, as recently as 2020, Josh Duggar had been involved in a lawsuit of his own related to the molestation report’s leak. In April of last year, around a year before his arrest on child pornography charges, he had filed an appeal, though a lower court had already said the city was justified in turning over the report. Now that report may come up in his child pornography trial. Though the report release has been said to be justified, now Duggar’s legal team is saying the molestation report was “unlawfully leaked,” which sort of ties the new court case to this aforementioned lawsuit. 

According to a filing obtained via The Sun, the defense is arguing the molestation report was not something Josh Duggar was charged for nor was it related to an incident that occurred when the former TLC star was an adult. 

There is no question the allegations at issue arise at a time when Duggar was a minor and the allegations at issue in this case arise at a time when Duggar was in his 30’s. Furthermore, there is no question Duggar was never charged with a crime related to those allegations.

No judge has yet to rule on the requests from the defense, but the court papers from the prosecution -- which were filed on November 3 -- explain how the information might be used in court. Per that side: 

Evidence of the defendant’s molestation of and sexual interest in minor girls—including, in this case, girls in the approximate age range of the victims depicted in the child sexual abuse material the defendant downloaded or attempted to download from the internet—is highly probative of the defendant’s knowing receipt and possession of child pornography on his computer.

The prosecution has also argued that this helps to highlight a motive for why the reality personality  allegedly downloaded child pornography and did so “intentionally.” If the information does ultimately get suppressed, it would be a rare win for the eldest Duggar brother, whose legal team has filed various motions to dismiss charges or suppress evidence, only to see a judge turn those down. At one point, a judge even bluntly stated "this motion is frivolous," among other thoughts, when the team tried to get the charges dismissed

Josh Duggar’s trial is expected to kick off on November 30th, and so far his wife Anna Duggar has been sticking by his side on various court dates. As far as other aftermath, TLC also cancelled Duggar spinoff Counting On after news of the arrest broke.  

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.