While the 33-year-old Duggar reportedly declined to have the charges read when he appeared before court via Zoom on Friday, his attorney plead “not guilty to both counts” on his behalf.
The first count alleges that the oldest of the Duggar children “knowingly received child pornography…Between on or about May 14, 2019, and on or about May 16, 2019.” The charges are federal because they involve transmission of images across state lines, whether by mail, Internet or other means.
The second charge is for possession, “including images of minors under the age of 12 that had been mailed, and shipped and transported using any means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce.”
Read the court documents here.
Duggar’s attorney requested his release on bond. The presiding federal judge informed Duggar that if he is eligible for release on bond, he would have to reside with a third-party custodian and cannot be in the presence of minors. A hearing set to determine whether he will be released is scheduled for May 5.
A trial date for his case was set for July 6, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for July 1.
Jill Duggar Dillard and husband Derick Dillard, spoke to People on Thursday about Duggar’s arrest. “We just found out this information yesterday,” they said. “It is very sad.”
In mid-May 2015, Duggar apologized for “wrongdoing” after a police report surfaced and revealed that he was investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls. His sisters Jill, 25, and Jessa, 24, said they were two of the victims. Shortly thereafter, TLC suspended and then canceled 19 Kids and Counting.
Later that same year, there were reports that the married Duggar was active on Ashley Madison, the cheating web site. Duggar then said he was addicted to pornography. He also admitted he cheated on wife Anna, with whom he has six children.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” he wrote. “While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him.”
Last week, his wife posted a video announcing the two were expecting child number seven, a girl. The Duggars have been married since 2008.
In 2019, Duggar’s workplace was raided by Homeland Security in connection with an ongoing federal investigation, though it’s unclear if the raid and his arrest yesterday are connected. Both were reportedly conducted by Homeland Security.