Amid new and horrifying revelations about what he allegedly did in May 2019, Josh Duggar has been set free from federal custody.
But the former reality star’s release comes with a number of conditions.
On Wednesday afternoon, Duggar appeared before a judge via Zoom, while a homeland security agent detailed the accusations against this father of six, explaining to the public why Josh was arrested on April 28.
The charges are truly horrifying.
According to Special Agent Gerald Faulkner, Duggar used his work computer to downloaded files depicting child sex abuse on May 14, 15 and 16 of 2019.
The files were initially flagged by a police detective in Little Rock, Arkansas – and then traced to Duggar’s IP address on a computer at the Wholesale Motorcars dealership.
Hence why authorities raided this location a few months later.
Faulkner said that at least one file featured kids ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age.
He described the photos as "in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine."
We were previously was made aware that Duggar had been arrested and charged with two counts of child pornography.
But this testimony at Wednesday’s hearing marked the first time such details as the ones above were made public.
In total, Duggar reportedly had more than 200 images of children on his computer, prosecutors said during the hours-long legal gathering.
Despite the heinous nature of his alleged crimes, Duggar is set to be released from custody following the hearing.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Judge Christy Comstock, ruled that the former 19 Kids and Counting cast membe will be allowed to leave the detention center where he has been held since his arrest last week.
But said release comes with an endless array of very strict guidelines and/or requirements.
Duggar will be released on Thursday to designated third party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber, who were described in court as "close friends" of the Duggar family.
He will be confined to their home and monitored with GPS tracking.
As previously noted, Duggar is now allowed to live at home or be near his kids — all of whom are under the age of 12 — without a court-approved monitor.
The judge noted that she "cannot in good conscience" release Duggar to his pregnant wife Anna and their six children:
Maryella Hope, 17 months, Mason Garrett, 3½, Meredith Grace, 5½, Marcus Anthony, 7½, Michael James, 9½, and Mackynzie Renée, 11.
Josh’s wife, Anna, is also pregnant with the couple’s seventh child.
This is an especially stunning development on multiple levels.
Duggar’s attorney said in court Wednesday that Josh had been aware he was under investigation for child pornography since the aforementioned raid in 2019.
According to Faulkner… when homeland security officials raided Duggar’s car dealership and asked to speak with him at that time (without informing him they were investigating child pornography), Duggar "spontaneously" replied:
"What is this about?"
"Has someone been downloading child pornography?"
Duggar was then asked straight out about seeing or having child sex abuse material in his possession, and he said:
"I’d rather not answer that question."
Josh has been granted "unlimited contact" with his children, so long as Anna is present, the judge decreed.
Duggar, 33, may not see any other minor child, including his nieces and nephews.
"Don’t make me regret this decision," the judge advised Duggar prior to adjourning.
Below, we’ve listed all the rules Josh Duggar must follow until his July trial begins, lest he be sent back to the detention center.
Josh must be monitored using a GPS monitoring system.
He is not allowed to leave the Reavers’ home except for work, church, education, medical treatment, meetings with his lawyers or his obligations from the court.
Any other activities must be approved by the probation office before he leaves.
He cannot look at pornography or sexual material of any kind.
He is not permitted to have Smart TVs, Smartphones, computers or gaming systems.
He is not allowed to ask the Reavers or anyone in their home for their passwords to devices to access the Internet.
He is allowedd to have a cell phone that does not have access to the Internet, in case he needs to call his lawyers. (This must be approved by Josh’s probation officer, however.)
Josh can’t leave the Western District of Arkansas, and must surrender his passport.
He can’t consume alcohol or drugs.
He is not permitted to have a firearm.
Josh must abide by all state and local laws.
In May 2015, Duggar apologized for his "wrongdoing" following the unveiling of a 2006 police report.
That infamous report revealed he had been investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls.
Two of his sisters, Jill and Jessa, subsequently stepped forward as two of the victims.
Later that same year, Josh confessed to cheating on his wife with women he found on the website Ashley Madison.
He then went to rehab for an alleged porn addictiion.
Due to his past behavior, it’s tragic, but true:
This arrest and these new, absolutely disgusting charges almost don’t come as a surprise.
One needs only to look at his history… the way his parents and famiily members responded to it… and the environment in which he was raised to have seen something like this coming.
"Multiple child pornography files were … found in a recently viewed folder, meaning that the user had unzipped those torrent files and had viewed them on the desktop," Faulkner said at the hearing.
He went on to outline what his team discovered at Josh’s workplace two years ago.
"Approximately over 200 images that were flagged as child sexual abuse material involving naked minors engaging in sexual activity were located" on "unallocated space" on Duggarr’s computer.
This means that those heinous files in question had been deleted, but not off the hard drive.
If convicted of the current charges against him, Duggar could face up to 40 years in prison.