Defense responds to prosecution’s motions on Josh Duggar’s past sexual molestation allegations

Regional News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The prosecution in the Josh Duggar child pornography case filed multiple motions on November 3, asking the judge to allow them to discuss Duggar’s past sexual molestation allegations.

Duggar, 33, is charged in a two-count indictment alleging one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Duggar has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

According to court documents, the prosecution says it may seek to introduce evidence at trial that Duggar committed other acts of sexual molestation.

The prosecution anticipates the evidence will consist of testimony that Duggar was investigated for, admitted to, and received counseling for sexually molesting minor females, beginning around 2002.

In light of this anticipated defense and pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 414 and 404(b), the government now provides the defendant with notice that it may seek to introduce evidence at trial that the defendant committed other acts of child molestation, as that term is defined by Rule 414. Specifically, the government notices its intent to introduce evidence that in approximately 2002 and 2003, before he committed the offenses charged in the indictment in this case and while living in Arkansas, the defendant attempted to and did commit a crime as defined by Arkansas state law involving contact between any part of the defendant’s body and a child’s genitals or anus—namely, sexual assault in the second degree, presently codified at Ark. Code Ann. § 5-14-125. If introduced, the government anticipates that the evidence will consist of testimony that the defendant was investigated for, admitted to, and received counseling for touching and sexually molesting multiple minor females, including at least one instance involving the digital penetration of a prepubescent minor.

Western District of Arkansas

Duggar’s defense argues in a motion filed on November 3 that the allegations referenced in the police report are more than 18 years old, allegedly occurred when Duggar was a minor, and never led to any charges or convictions.

The defense says the molestation allegations while Duggar was a minor are entirely irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial and the court should enter an order excluding such evidence. They also say “allowing the jury to consider this evidence would confuse and mislead the jury, and would waste time in a federal courtroom nearly two decades later about allegations that are not charged in the case and have never been charged.”

The information was published in InTouch Magazine.

In 2015, InTouch Magazine filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Springdale Police Department for the molestation documents. Then Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley and Springdale City Attorney Ernest Cate determined the documents should be released based on the FOIA.

In 2017, a lawsuit was filed by Duggar’s sisters against the City of Springdale and Washington County, stating that action was “hastily and improperly” done.

The defense argues that such molestation allegations while Duggar was a minor are entirely irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial and the court should enter an order to exclude the evidence.

According to court documents from the prosecution, Duggar publicly admitted in 2015 on his family’s social media account, “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this has become an addiction.”

The defense describes that in 2015 there was a hack of the website Ashley Madison, a website for consenting adults looking to engage in extra-marital affairs. The hack of the website revealed that Duggar was a subscriber.

The defense also claims that in an effort to minimize public fallout, the Duggar family issued a press statement on the Duggar family website. The statement attributed to Duggar included, “[w]hile 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.”

Duggar’s characterization of himself as being “addicted” to viewing adult pornography or being unfaithful to his wife is entirely irrelevant and is therefore inadmissible, according to Duggar’s defense.

Duggar’s jury trial is scheduled for November 30 at the Fayetteville federal courthouse.

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