Judge denies Josh Duggar bid to dismiss child porn charges
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has denied motions seeking to dismiss child pornography charges against former reality TV star Josh Duggar.
U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks on Monday also denied motions to suppress all statements Duggar made to investigators and photos that were taken of Duggar after he was in custody, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Duggar, who appeared in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” was charged in April with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.
He is accused of using the internet in May 2019 to download and possess the material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children younger than 12, according to court documents.
Duggar has pleaded not guilty. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.
The motions to suppress evidence say investigators took Duggar’s cellphone before he could call his lawyer and questioned him without his lawyer present. The cellphone was seized while authorities executed a search warrant at a used-car dealership run by Duggar in November 2019.
The government contends Duggar was never placed in custody when the search warrant was being served, and that he voluntarily chose to talk with investigators.
Duggar’s lawyers argued in their motion to dismiss that the government failed to preserve evidence that could have helped Duggar’s defense. Brooks denied that motion on Monday.
Brooks has set the jury trial for Nov. 30.