We’re just one week away from the start of Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial, and many are beginning to fear that Josh could beat the charges against him and once again avoid being held accountable for his actions.
According to legal experts who have been following the case closely, that’s unlikely.
But it is possible.
Just last week, lawyers for the disgraced former reality star scored several important victories at a pretrial hearing.
Following a series of controversial rulings from Judge Timothy L. Brooks, the prosecution will not be permitted to use Josh’s past admissions of pornography addiction against him.
The judge also ruled that comments from an investigator about the severity of Josh’s crimes are inadmissible as evidence.
Additionally, the judge ruled that the defense will be allowed to argue that the incriminating materials found on Josh’s computer did not belong to Josh, but were instead downloaded by one of his employees.
Prosecutors had argued that such a ruling would enable the defense to build their case around blaming someone else for Josh’s alleged crimes.
And it’s easy to see how Josh’s beefed-up legal team might be able to create a shadow of a doubt about his guilt just by planting the idea in jurors’ minds that he was set up by one of his co-workers.
In other words, just one week ago, this appeared to be an open-and-shut case, but now, the outcome is very much uncertain.
If he’s convicted, Josh faces 20 years behind bars and fines of up to $250,000 for each count against him.
The deadline to accept a plea deal that would result in a lighter sentence expired back in October.
At the time, many who had been watching the trial closely expressed shock over the fact that Duggar would choose to take his chances with a jury trial.
Now, however, the defense’s strategy is beginnig to become clear, and many who had mocked Josh for his hubris are coming around to the fact that he might actually get off scot-free.
On Duggar-centric Reddit forums, critics of the family are beginning to fret about the possibility that Josh could beat the charges.
But the optimists remain hopeful that the jury will convict and that the judge will throw the book at Josh.
"Unfortunately, his trial will not be on tv but having watched another trial with a former, god I hate this term ‘reality star’ who was convicted," one person wrote in the r/DuggarSnark forum this week, according to The Sun.
"How I wish I could see that but alas I cannot. I will have to read the reports from the local newspaper online instead."
"The only time I’ve ever been happy to see Pest’s smug face has been these 12 days of “pest gets the slammer” Christmas!" another user added.
"Only 11 days and the real world will start affecting Joshie’s psychic," a third chimed in.
"I wish he would get 711 years," a fourth opined.
Josh was arrested back in April, but his lawyers succeeded in having the trial pushed back until late November.
So the Duggars’ harshest critics have had a long time to familiarize themselves with the particulars of the case and the principal players.
They knew when Josh hired a new lawyer last week, and they’ve been closely evaluating the outcome of each pre-trial hearing.
This week, many pointed out that while the start date for Josh’s trial is listed as November 30, we may not have a verdict until mid-December.
"Jury selection is part of the trial. The trial is tenuously scheduled to go through December 3rd," one Reddit user wrote over the weekend.
Less than a week later, on December 9, four of Josh’s sisters will be in court to sue the police and sheriff’s departments who released records related to sex crimes he committed against them while they were still children.
The sisters say the authorities violated their right to privacy by doing so.
All of this is unfolding alongside patriarch Jim Bob Duggar’s latest political campaign.
The father of 19 recently announced that he plans to run for a seat in the Arkansas State Senate.
Clearly, Jim Bob is convinced that the allegations against Josh won’t harm his chances of being elected.
And insiders say both of Josh’s parents are convinced that he’ll be acquitted.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.