The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Former reality TV star Josh Duggar, who was a cast member on the long-running TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” was arrested Thursday on federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
A grand jury indicted Duggar of Springfield, Arkansas, this week for allegedly using “the internet to download child sexual abuse material,” court documents say.
The 33-year-old was being held without bond at the Washington County Jail following his arrest by U.S. Marshals in Arkansas.
He reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charges on Friday.
According to prosecutors, Duggar downloaded illicit materials to his computer in May 2019, some of which was still in his possession. The materials depicted the sexual abuse of children under age 12, court records allege.
He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of at least $250,000 if convicted.
The show featuring Duggar was yanked from the network in 2015 over revelations he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager. Duggar’s parents said he had confessed and apologized, although there were no criminal charges filed in the matter.
Later the same year, Duggar acknowledged a pornography addiction and that he had cheated on his wife following a data breach on the website Ashley Madison which revealed credit card transactions in his name.
“19 Kids and Counting” had a seven-year run on TLC and followed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, a devout Baptist couple who were raising 19 children in Tontitown, Arkansas.
Porn actress Danica Dillion filed a lawsuit against him in November 2015 for allegedly assaulting her in a Philadelphia strip club, although she dropped the lawsuit the following year, according to reports.
A federal probe in November 2019 led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to raid a car dealership where Duggar works, according to TMZ, which added Duggar was the subject of “a civil lawsuit filed against him for real-estate fraud.”
The current case against Duggar is being prosecuted as part of the U.S. Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas and Special Agent Jack Staton of the Homeland Security Department.
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