In just three weeks, Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial will get underway following months of delays.
The trial was initially scheduled for June, but Duggar’s legal team had it postponed to allow them more time to prepare.
During that time, they’ve engaged in all manner of pre-trial chicanery in hopes that they might convince the judge to throw Josh’s case out of court before the trial even begins.
Thus far, those efforts have been unsuccessful.
Most of this wrangling has centered around motions to dismiss evidence on the grounds that it was illegally obtained or improperly handled.
Last month, the judge dismissed five motions filed by the defense, all of them having to do with requests that evidence be ruled inadmissible.
Following that defeat, Josh’s lawyers changed tactics and began trying to limit what aspects of their client’s past the prosecution will be permitted to discuss in court.
It seems that the DA’s office is planning to focus on two aspects of the 33-year-old’s sordid history in hopes of establishing a pattern of deviant behavior.
First, there’s the matter of Josh’s porn addiction, which he has allegedly admitted to in social media posts and conversations with friends.
And then there’s Josh’s first set of sex crimes, the ones that were, until his arrest earlier this year, the most appalling scandal in the history of reality television.
As you’ll likely recall, the world learned in 2015 that Josh molested five young girls while he was still in his teens.
Four of the victims were his sisters, and the fifth an unidenfitied family babysitter.
Josh’s parents helped him avoid prosecution for these crimes, but if the DA has its way, Josh might finally be held accountable for the horrific actions of his past.
"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," reads a filing by the prosecution.
The attorneys argue that cases "show an unusual disposition of the defendant—a sexual or sado-sexual interest in children—that simply does not exist in ordinary people."
"In fact, the prior child molestation offense is similar to the charged conduct in this case in at least one critical way—both offenses involve minor female victims—which only enhances the relevance and probative value of this proffered evidence," the document says.
"Nor is the prior child molestation conduct so old as to render it unfairly prejudicial in the instant case."
Josh’s lawyers have now filed a counter-motion in which they argue that Josh’s past crimes have nothing to do with the current allegations against him.
In court documents obtained by People magazine, the defense argues that the charges "are more than 18 years old, allegedly occurred at a time when Duggar was a minor, and never led to any charges or convictions."
"The existence of juvenile allegations—which did not lead to charges, much less convictions—does not have any tendency to make it more or less likely that Duggar committed the crimes with which he presently stands accused," the response reads.
"Specifically, an allegation concerning alleged conduct by Duggar as a juvenile sheds no light on whether Duggar knowingly received or possessed alleged child pornography on three days in 2019 as the indictment alleges."
Yes, Josh’s lawyers are really claiming that their client’s previous sex crimes should not be considered in relation to the current sex crime allegations against him.
It seems impossible that anyone could be so devoid of basic human decency, but we suppose we should expect nothing less from a team assembled by Josh and Jim Bob Duggar.
After all those two are pretty much the living embodiments of all of mankind’s very worst impulses.