Josh Duggar was back in federal court on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing, about two weeks before he faces a jury of his peers and evidence is presented that may land him in jail for multipe decades.
The former reality star, of course, has been charged with two counts of child pornography possession.
He’s accused of downloading sexually explicit material of kids under the age of 12 from his workplace computer in 2019.
Josh has pleaded not guilty and ispast the point of bargaining for a plea deal — this case is going to trial.
On Thursday, however, attention turned briefly other members of Josh’s controversial family.
FIRST, Anna Duggar once again accompanied her husband to the legal event, just under a month after giving birth to their seventh child.
In a video for local Fox affiliate KNWA tweeted by photographer Garrett Fergeson, the spouses were seen holding hands as they headed into the courthouse in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Back in September, Anna also showed public support for her shady husband in this same fashion.
SECOND, it’s now clear that Jim Bob Duggar may be called on to testify against his son.
As part of yesterday’s decision-making process, Judge Timothy L. Brooks ordered an evidentiary hearing with witnesses to be held one day before the actual trial… on November 29.
What does this mean, exactly?
It means that, on that date, both the defense team and prosecution team will present to the judge eyewitness testimony and either possible items of evidence; the judge will then decide if they are relevant to the official proceedings.
There’s an ongoing dispute over the prosecution’s notice that they may introduce evidence regarding Josh’s past molestation scandal.
In 2015, news broke that Josh had allegedly molested five underage girls as a teenager, including two of his own sisters.
Prosecutors believe this is important information to outline for a jury because it establishes a pattern of behavior by Josh that is pertinent to the charges against him now.
The defense, however, has filed a motion to exclude any evidence regarding the scandal.
According to KNWA, during Thursday’s hearing, one of Josh’s attorneys, Justin Gelfand, said he "disagrees adamantly" with the prosecution’s notice about the molestation scandal — along with their plan to call on two witnesses, one of whom is Jim Bob Duggar.
The family patriarch has confessed that he knew many years ago about his son’s inappropriate touching, but never contacted the authorities.
William G. Clayman, speaking for the prosecution, said in court yesterday that there is a "preponderance of evidence" regarding the molestation scandal.
HHe added that the witnesses would testify to "multiple instances" of past child molestation.
This would essentially mean, of course, that Jim Bob would be testifying AGAINST his son.
If he gets subpeoned, Jim Bob would have no choice but to take the stand.
We’ve also discovered that the prosecution wants call Bobbie Holt as a witness.
Holt is the father of a daughter who was reportedly betrothed to Josh back in the day… only for the engagement to be called off after he learned about all the molesting of young girls.
Duggar did earn one legal victory this week, however.
As you’ll recall, also back in 2015, he admitted to being a client of adultery website Ashley Madison and said in a later statement that he was a "hypocrite" for cheating on his wife — and also that he had a pornography addiction.
The judge ruled on Thursday that this confession cannot be brought up at Josh’s trial.
Duggar’s legal team contends that his alleged involvement with the Ashley Madison website and subsequent admission that he might have been unfaithful to his wife are facts that are irrelevant to the crimes charged.
And the judge agrees.
Following Josh’s arrest earlier this year, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar issued a statement that read as follows:
"It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner.
"We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family."
Josh Duggar goes on trial on November 30, 2021.