Long before he was arrested on child pornography charges, Josh Duggar was involved in a heinous sex scandal of a different kind.
In 2015, the world learned that Josh had molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters.
The crimes took place while Josh was still in his teens, but with the help of his parents, the former Washington lobbyist kept the incident buried until well after his family's rise to fame and fortune.
Josh was never prosecuted, and his parents protected him from suffering any consequences of any kind.
But now, all these years later, he might finally be held accountable in some small way.
Earlier this week, prosecutors filed documents requesting permission to discuss Josh's past sex crimes during his upcoming trial, which is set to begin on November 30.
The filing reads as follows:
"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,
"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
"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."
The motion has not yet been approved, but the judge has sided with the prosecution on every pre-trial motion thus far.
Previously, the defense filed five motions to have evidence dismissed on the grounds that it was mishandled or improperly gathered.
Each one of them has been denied.
That's not necessarily an indication that the judge will allow prosecutors to mention Josh's earlier crimes at trial, but it is a sign that Josh and his lawyers are fighting an uphill battle.
But apparently, the disgraced 33-year-old is still convinced that he'll be found not guilty.
The deadline for Josh to accept a plea deal was October 18.
He let it pass without cooperating with prosecutors, and it seems that he's now planning to take his chances at trial.
If convicted, Josh faces 20 years in prison.
The plea deal would have certainly involved prison time, but the sentence likely would have been dramatically reduced.
Perhaps he didn't want to further sully the family name by accepting a guilty plea, or maybe he really believes he'll be acquitted at trial.
Whatever the case, Josh is apparently going all-in with this gamble, and it seems very likely that he's being manipulated by his father here.
On Friday, Jim Bob Duggar announced a run for the Arkansas State Senate, which is not the kind of announcement one expects from a man whose eldest son and former business partner is soon to stand trial on child pornography charges.
Of course, if Josh is convicted, Jim Bob can take to the campaign trail to complain about how his son is the victim of a liberal conspiracy.
If Josh pleads guilty, however -- well, that would significantly harm the case that Jim Bob wants to make with voters.
Hopefully, Josh is going to this situation knowing that he's playing the role of the sacrificial lamb.