Why Josh Duggar’s Phone Was Key To His Conviction–Even Though There Wasn’t Child Pornography On It

Josh Duggar on 19 Kids and Counting
(Image credit: TLC)

We’ve heard a lot about the Josh Duggar case and subsequent trial over the last few months. Details about the case have ranged from information about the passwords that Duggar used on the computer with child pornography to information shared by professionals about the images found being among “the worst” they’d seen. However, as it turns out, it wasn’t just the work computer that was key to Josh Duggar’s conviction. His iPhone 8 data was actually a key piece of evidence, even though there wasn’t any child pornography found within it. 

While Duggar wasn’t officially arrested until April of 2021, he was being investigated as far back as 2019. During that time, he used an Apple iPhone 8. The phone actually ended up becoming a focal point in the case, despite the fact that it was not directly connected to the child pornography found on the work computer. It's complicated, and Duggar's personal laptop was also involved. 

When Duggar was still on trial, evidence was presented in court that showed that authorities had also confiscated Josh Duggar’s home computer, an Apple MacBook. Again, no child pornography was found on the former reality star’s personal computer, but what it did contain was a backed up version of Duggar’s iPhone 8. The data found actually allowed authorities to see pictures, texts and more that Josh had sent while in the car dealership office. 

So, Why Does Josh Duggar's iPhone 8 Matter?

Well, this data had GPS locators as well as times and dates. The authorities were then able to compare Josh Duggar’s iPhone usage to times child pornography had been downloaded on the work computer between May 14 and May 16th of 2019. The evidence confirmed Duggar was in the office at the same time child pornography had been downloaded on a work computer he used.

According to the Daily Mail, Duggar’s team argued that his computer could have been “hijacked” or used by another person or former employee in the office at the time. The prosecution argued that idea was a “fantasy.” At the end of the day, Duggar was ultimately convicted following evidence such as this. 

Other Details That Came To Light During Josh Duggar's Trial And Its Aftermath

This wasn’t the only evidence the prosecution shared at Josh Duggar’s trial before Duggar was found. A Linux partition had kept the child pornography out of the front-facing portion of the computer. Duggar had also been familiar with how to use those, and said as much to the police during an interrogation. When asked about the partition, he had noted, “'I mean, I'm familiar with, I guess you could say.” The partition was allegedly in place to obscure usage from Duggar’s wife, Anna.

After 9 days of trial back-and-forth, Josh Duggar was found guilty on both counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. He could face decades in prison, but his sentencing isn’t expected to come down until April. Duggar’s legal team has already moved forward with a new strategy and filed a motion for acquittal. We’ll keep you updated if any more details related to this case break. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.