Josh Duggar pleaded not guilty to the federal child porn charges on Friday during a virtual court hearing
Josh Duggar has filed a motion in an Arkansas federal court to get out of jail on bail for his child pornography charges claiming he is not a flight risk because he has ‘a widely-recognizable face.’
The former 19 Kids and Counting star, 33, is facing charges of one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography but has pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Security video has shown Duggar’s first moments behind bars when he was booked in to an Arkansas jail on May 3.
He has now requested to be allowed to return home to his pregnant wife and their six children – though a judge had previously ruled that he would be barred from living with them if he were to be released on bail while awaiting trial.
The reality star has argued in the court documents, filed on Tuesday and obtained by DailyMail.com, that he ‘poses no flight risk’ because of his ‘deep roots’ in the community and his ‘widely recognizable face.’
‘He was born and raised in this community and, with the exception of a stint working in politics in Washington, D.C., this has always been his home,’ reads the filing, made by his lawyers Travis Story and Justin Gelfand.
‘Indeed, Duggar’s life— and that of his parents and 18 siblings—has been largely documented on camera and in the media.’
Security video has shown Duggar’s first moments behind bars when he was booked in to an Arkansas jail on May 3. He claims that he does not pose a danger to the community and that he has ‘fully complied’ with law enforcement
Duggar, center, noted that he was permitted to ‘voluntarily self-surrender in connection with this case
The filing continues: ‘In that vein, Duggar has a widely-recognizable face and has spent the majority of his life in the public spotlight—making any concern that he is a risk of flight all the more unwarranted.’
Duggar claims that he does not pose a danger to the community and that he has ‘fully complied’ with law enforcement and has no prior criminal convictions.
‘[He] has known about this federal criminal investigation since November 2019 when Homeland Security Investigations (‘HSI’) executed a search of Duggar’s prior workplace,’ the filing reads.
Duggar alleged that he has ‘maintained an open dialogue with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in connection with this investigation’ and noted that he was permitted to ‘voluntarily self-surrender in connection with this case.’
Josh and Anna Duggar, and their six children. Anna is pregnant with their 7th child while Josh is trying to make bail
‘Indeed, while child pornography crimes are unquestionably serious, the indictment certainly does not allege that Duggar personally interacted with a single child,’ the document reads.
Duggar suggested in the filing that, if he is not permitted to return home, he has provided the name of a ‘third-party custodian’ with whom he can live where no minor children live.
He noted in the legal document that he will obey any bail conditions made by the court if it is granted.
After entering his not guilty plea at a court in Arkansas on Friday, US Chief Magistrate Judge Erin L. Wiedemann told Duggar that if he is released on bond, he would not be permitted to reside in a house with children, according to a release from the US Attorney’s Office.
This would prohibit Duggar from returning to the home he lives in with wife Anna, and their six children, the eldest of which is just 11 years old.
Judge Wiedemann advised Duggar he would have to work out an alternative residence where he could stay while awaiting trial.
‘Given the nature of the charges against him, the court would likely require a third-party custodian that he could reside with and that would ensure compliance with conditions of bond,’ Judge Wiedemann said.
Duggar’s sister Jill (pictured with her husband) said: ‘We’re very sad about the whole thing, it’s horrible. It’s all very sad’
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said they still loved Josh and were praying for him after his arrest
Wiedemann said a probation officer would interview Duggar to determine his suitability for bail.
Duggar is accused of allegedly using ‘the internet to download child sexual abuse material’.
Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019, according to the US Attorney’s office.
It’s not clear if any of Duggar’s family would offer him accommodation while he awaits trial.
Several members of the family have spoken out since news of his arrest broke last week.
Duggar’s sister Jill told The Sun: ‘We’re very sad about the whole thing, it’s horrible. It’s all very sad. Josh’s wife Anna is pregnant with their seventh child, I cannot imagine how she is feeling.’
Jill’s husband Derick told The Sun that ‘obviously if there is anything there related to child pornography, we hope that justice is done’.
Another of Josh’s sisters, Jinger, and her husband, Jeremy, have also reacted to Duggar’s charges after they were made public Friday.
‘We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice,’ the couple wrote in a statement shared to Instagram.
Jinger Duggar, center, husband Jeremy Vuolo, left, who went shopping in Hollywood on Saturday, released a joint statement to say they were ‘disturbed’ to hear about the charges
Duggar’s parents and fellow 19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also issued a statement Friday.
‘We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious,’ they said in the statement obtained by People magazine.
‘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.’
They added: ‘We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.’
A trial date for his case has been set for July 6, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for July 1.
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.