We have an update on the arrest of Josh Duggar.
A troubling, disturbing, truly disgusting and heinous update on the arrest of Josh Duggar, to be more specific.
The former 19 Kids and Counting star, who was fired from that program in 2015 after confirming a leaked story that he molested his own sisters as a teenager, was taken into federal custody on Thursday.
At the time, there was no word on the charges he faced. Now there is.
Most observers believed that U.S. Marshals arrested Josh Duggar in connection with a raid in November 2019 on his since-closed-down used car dealership.
Back then, federal agents said there was some kind of investigation into Josh’s business, though nothing official or legal came out of the raid.
We can now confirm, however, that Duggar is not accused of anything related to that business.
Instead, he’s been charged with two counts of child pornography.
The father of six (whose wife just announced one week ago that she’s pregnant with child number-seven) appeared before a judge on Friday.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Duggar may never be a free man again.
He allegedly received this child pornography in May of 2019, downloading this sort of inappropriate material off the Internet himself.
To be specific, the disgraced reality star is accused of knowingly possessing images of child pornography.
Including images of minors below the age of 12.
It’s absolutely incredible and yet, given his history, simultaneously not. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.
Duggar’s trial date is scheduled for Tuesday, July 6.
He will remain in custody at least for another week, until a detention hearing on May 5.
We can also confirm at this time that the Department of Homeland Security is involved in the case.
In what way?
It sounds as if the aforementioned raid in 2019 on his car dealership may have stemmed from Josh using a computer at that address to download the illegal photos and videos.
Duggar was ordered on Friday to forfeit any material related to the case to authorities, including turning over any and all computer equipment.
Again. Just… wow, right?
We didn’t think we could be any more shocked or grossed out at this point by Josh Duggar’s behavior, and yet: Here we are.
To be clear and fair, of course, Duggar is entitled to due process and is innocent until proven guilty.
His past is not necessarily prologue.
Nothing from his younger days means that he for certain committed to atrocities described above.
But it’s worth noting that Duggar confessed to inappropriately touching young girls back when he was 14 years old.
"I hurt others, including my family and close friends," he said in a 2015 statement.
"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret."
"I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation," Josh added back then.
"We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing."
"My parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling."
It later came out that Josh attended a program of some kind run by a family friend who was in the home-modeling business.
"We watched him like all the time," said Jim Bob to Megyn Kelly six years ago of his role in covering up his oldest son’s apparent crimes. "I took him to work with me. We just poured our life into him."
Also in 2015, Josh confessed to cheating on his wife.
He was outed at the time as a user of the website Ashley Madison, which arranged for spouses to cheat on their significant others with random men or women.
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," he said in a mea culpa for those actions.
"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."
Perhaps pertinent to this arrest, Josh also claimed to have an addiction to pornography back then, even entering rehab for the problem.
"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," he said.
"And most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him."
Anna has not yet commented on her husband’s arrest.
Neither has Jesus.
"Do you understand what you’ve been charged with?" a judge asked Duggar over Zoom on Friday.
"Yes, your honor," he replied.
If these sick charges are legitimate – and according to reports, his family knew this was coming – he may never see the outside of a cell.
He has six children, and has already struggled to support them, despite Anna insisting he’s a good provider and that they can afford it.
Anna is currently pregnant with the couple’s seventh child.
We can’t imagine what must be going through her mind right now.
More news on this horrifying story as it breaks.