Former reality TV star Josh Duggar has asked a federal judge for a new trial or an acquittal, a little over a month after he was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.
A jury convicted Duggar last month of one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography.
Federal authorities said they began investigating Duggar after a Little Rock police detective found that child porn files were being shared by a computer traced to Duggar.
Duggar’s attorneys are asking a judge to overrule the jury’s findings and grant him a new trial, if not an acquittal of the charges altogether.
In December 2021, an Arkansas court found Josh Duggar guilty of child pornography.
However, the cracks had already begun to show as far back as 2015, when parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar revealed that their oldest son had molested several young girls, including some of his own sisters (via The Washington Post).
They assured the public that Josh had undergone professional counseling and that he had reformed. The discovery of the graphic images on Josh’s work computer suggested otherwise.
According to court filling, Josh Duggar’s legal team has filed an appeal calling either for an acquittal of the child pornography charges or for a new trial if he is not acquitted.
The motion states, “The evidence elicited at trial does not support a conviction on either count — even in the light most favorable to the Government.”
The lawyers are putting forth two arguments in their call for action.
They say that the state had no evidence to prove that Duggar knew he had explicit images on his computer. For a conviction, they say the accused must be aware of the nature of the material they possess.
They also argue that “law enforcement had failed to meaningfully investigate the possibility that anyone other than Duggar may have committed the crimes charged.
The attorneys suggest that an ex-employee of the car lot where Duggar worked had access to his work computer, so he could have downloaded the graphic material without Duggar’s knowledge.
The team had made this argument during the trial, according to USA Today, but now claim that the government “failed to timely disclose material exculpatory evidence” that this employee was the guilty party.
It is likely to take some weeks for the motion to be decided by a court of appeals. In the meantime, Josh Duggar remains in a county correctional facility.
His wife, Anna, and their seven children are reportedly living in a converted warehouse on Jim Bob Duggar’s compound, according to The Sun.
A sentencing date hasn’t been set for Duggar, who faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count.
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