Jury begins deliberating in Josh Duggar child porn trial
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A federal jury in Arkansas has begun deliberations in the trial of former reality TV star Josh Duggar, who is accused of receiving and possessing child pornography.
The jury deliberated for about five hours Wednesday, a week after the trial began in northwest Arkansas. Deliberations will resume Thursday morning.
Duggar, 33, faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the two counts if convicted. He was featured on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” which was pulled in 2015 over revelations that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter.
Duggar was charged in April after child pornography was discovered on a computer at his workplace.
Defense attorneys for Duggar have argued that someone else downloaded or placed the child pornography onto the work computer, noting that no child pornography was found on Duggar’s phone or laptop.
In closing arguments Wednesday, defense attorney Justin Gelfand told jurors that federal agents “were so star-struck about the possibility of prosecuting Josh Duggar” that they ignored other evidence.
But federal prosecutors showed jurors detailed logs showing, minute by minute, the activity on Duggar’s computer that alternated between him allegedly sending personal messages, downloading child porn and saving pictures of notes. Prosecutor Dustin Roberts told jurors the defense intended to “get you looking anywhere but the facts. This is not a complicated case.”
Duggar’s trial is happening as his father, Jim Bob Duggar, runs in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas. Jim Bob Duggar was also featured prominently on the TLC show and previously served in the Arkansas House.