Judge refuses to suppress video evidence in Josh Duggar case
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has denied motions to suppress video evidence found on electronic devices that were seized from former reality TV star Josh Duggar, who is facing child pornography charges.
U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks also said Monday that a hearing on the motions isn’t warranted, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Duggar, who appeared in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” was charged in April with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.
Duggar’s attorneys argued that evidence in the case had become “stale” because so much time elapsed between federal agents downloading files from the seized devices and the issuance of a search warrant.
Brooks said courts have found on numerous occasions that evidence in child pornography cases doesn’t become stale, even when files were downloaded many months before search warrants were issued.
Brooks said investigators did not take too long to examine the electronic devices, noting such searches are complicated and can take a while.
“Mr. Duggar cannot show he was prejudiced by any delay; the devices remained in law enforcement’s safe keeping throughout this time period, and the probable cause warranting the initial seizure of the devices remained viable through the date of indictment,” Brooks said.
Duggar, 33, faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.
Brooks set the jury trial for Nov. 30.
TLC pulled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 over revelations that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar’s parents said he confessed to the fondling and apologized.
Duggar has also apologized for his pornography addiction and for cheating on his wife.