Josh Duggar goes on trial for child pornography possession at 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, November 30.
On Monday, however, Josh, his legal team and the prosecutors were in court for a three-hour pre-trial hearing that focused on one important topic:
Duggar’s admission in 2015 that he molested a number of female children when he was 15 years old.
As it turns out, he first inappropriately touched these minors when he was even younger than that.
The revelation came about because Duggar’s lawyers are trying to argue that the jury should NOT hear anything about this scandal.
They believe the issue at hand is whether or not their client downloaded sexually graphic material of little kids from his workplace computer in May 2019 — and Josh’s past sins are not relevant to the case.
Conversely, prosecutors wish to establish a pattern of behavior; they think this molestation confession is important to present to jurors because it helps prove that Duggar is the type of person who would download this material.
The judge has not yet ruled on whether anything related to the scandal will be permitted at the actual trial.
"Let’s have a trial about what actually happened in May of 2019," one of Duggar’s attorneys urged the judge on Monday.
With Anna Duggar sitting in the front row, meanwhile, Bobye Holt was then called to testify.
A close friend of this infamous family, Bobye is married to a man who has known Jim Bob Duggar since seventhh grade.
"We loved them," she said on the stand. "We loved Josh."
The couple’s oldest daughter even dated Josh for several months between 2002 and 2003.
But the relationship ended on March 30, 2003 after Jim Bob called the Holts over to tell them "what Josh had done," Bobye said yesterday.
"[Josh] explained that Jane Doe four was sitting on his lap during Bible time and he touched her inappropriately," she told the judge of what allegedly happened on that date.
"He told us that he touched her vaginal area."
Josh also admitted to touching three other girls, Bobye said, each of them on their breasts and genitals.
Bobye also testified that Duggar admitted to inappropriately touching girls — each of whom were younger than 10 — in February 2002.
She said in the courtroom that it’s her understanding Josh started this behavior at age 12 and that it continued until he was 15.
Jim Bob Duggar has previously said that Josh only groped his victims over the shirt while they slept.
HOWEVER, Bobye choked up on the stand upon recounting how Josh touched at least one girl in 2003 outside and then inside her genitals.
In yet another incident, Bobye detailed, Josh "said that he went to [one of the girls] as she was sleeping and got up under her blanket to start touching her and she woke up and hit him."
Then, the girl told his parents.
"I went to go tell Jim Bob and Michelle but they said they didn’t want to hear it," Bobye added.
Jim Bob, for his part, also took the stand.
And he was combative throughout.
When asked about the police report from Josh’s molestation scandal during his testimony on Monday, Jim Bob said "I can’t remember" and called it "tabloid information" because the public learned about what transpired from an In Touch Weekly report.
"I’m not going to allow it, are you going to allow for that?" he reportedly asked judge Timothy L. Brooks, who fired back to Jim Bob that "if there is [an] objection to be made, someone will make it but it won’t be you."
Jim Bob mostly pleaded ignorant to what he remembered about the incidents with his son’s four victims, but did at one point tell the judge that his son told his mom and dad about "inappropriate touching" of a minor.
"Josh confessed everything to Arkansas State Police," added Jim Bob, who said he and Michelle took Josh to the authorities in 2006 on the recommendation of Jim Holt, Bobye’s husband and an elder in their church.
"We tried to handle things in house," Jim Bob also said.
"It was a very difficult time in our family’s life."
When the 2006 police report came up again during his testimony, Jim Bob complained:
"For you guys to use a tabloid to bring it back up is very unprofessional."
This earned him a rebuke from Brooks.
"Mr. Duggar, I recognize this is perhaps a very unfair position that you’re placed in and I appreciate that," the judge said. "This is not a debate."
Josh Duggar has been accused of downloading files depicting child sexual abuse on May 14, 15 and 16 of 2019 on the computer at his then-workplace, a used car lot in Arkansas.
If convicted of the charges against him, Duggar faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines on each of the two counts for a total possible sentence of 40 years.
As for his history of molestation?
This is what he told People Magazine six and a half years ago:
"As a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret.
"I hurt others, including my family and close friends ….
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life."