Federal Judge Denies Josh Duggar’s Motion for Acquittal, New Trial

  • A federal judge has denied Josh Duggar’s motion for an acquittal or a new trial.
  • Duggar is set to be sentenced on Wednesday for receiving and possessing child pornography.
  • Judge Timothy Brooks wrote that “there is ample evidence” that Duggar viewed child sexual abuse material.

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion from the former reality TV star Josh Duggar for an acquittal or a new trial for the child pornography charges he was convicted of last year.

Duggar, formerly of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” has maintained his innocence even after an Arkansas jury found him guilty in December 2021, and his lawyers have said he intends to appeal the verdict.

Just weeks after his trial ended, Duggar’s team of attorneys submitted a motion for an acquittal or a new trial, arguing in part that there was insufficient evidence Duggar had actually viewed the child sexual abuse material found on the office computer at his Arkansas car dealership.

Duggar’s attorneys emphasized that a number of the files found on the


desktop computer

had been deleted shortly after they were downloaded, and some had apparently never been viewed at all.

“The jury had no evidence that Duggar personally viewed any specific portion of any of the files allegedly found on the computer,” Duggar’s attorneys wrote in their January 19 motion.

US District Judge Timothy Brooks disagreed with Duggar’s team, writing in his order on May 24 that “Mr. Duggar’s argument lacks merit, as there is ample evidence he viewed the images of child pornography that had been downloaded to his business computer.”

Brooks pointed out that a police detective and a government computer expert had both tested during Duggar’s trial that a number of the hundreds of files that were downloaded had apparently been opened, even though they were deleted afterward.

One computer forensic analyst even tested that he found a number of thumbnail files “depicting child pornography,” which indicated that the full-sized version of the files had previously existed on the computer. He also tested that at least seven videos depicting child sexual abuse had been played using the computer’s VLC media player.

Brooks noted that even Duggar’s own expert witness had agreed that a ZIP file of 65 still images of a prepubescent girl had been downloaded to the computer, unzipped, placed in a folder on the computer’s desktop, and then opened in an image viewer.

Brooks also pointed out that the computer expert had shown that Duggar was at his car dealership on the dates the files were downloaded to his office computer, because several photographs Duggar sent from his iPhone that day had EXIF ​​data with GPS coordinates.

“There is no merit to Mr. Duggar’s argument in favor of an acquittal. There was significant evidence presented at trial to convince a reasonable jury that Mr. Duggar was physically present during the offense conduct and that he had the means to to commit these crimes ,” Brooks wrote, referring to Duggar’s criminal intent.

Duggar is set to be sentenced on May 25. Prosecutors have asked Brooks to sentence Duggar to 20 years in prison, arguing that the 34-year-old poses a “grave” risk of reoffending. Duggar’s attorneys countered that Duggar’s alleged crimes were far less severe than in other prominent child pornography convictions, and requested the minimum possible sentence of five years.

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