A former reality TV star has been arrested on shocking charges by US Marshalls. Josh Duggar, one of the stars of the reality TV series 19 Kids and Counting, was arrested on Thursday and placed into custody in Washington County, Arkansas.
According to reports, he was indicted by a grand jury, who allege that Duggar knowingly solicited images of minors under 12. As of the time of this writing, Duggar faces two charges relating to his alleged crimes.
Court documents show that Duggar has pled not guilty on both charges. “In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom – and that is exactly what Josh intends to do,” reads a public statement from Duggar’s attorneys.
The charges facing Duggar are serious. For one thing, if he’s found guilty, he’d spend up to 20 years behind bars. Moreover, for each count he was found guilty of, he could be on the hook for a fine of as much as a quarter of a million dollars per count. The US Attorney’s office has alleged that the materials found in Duggar’s possession include images depicting the abuse of children.
As of the time of this writing, Duggar remains behind bars in the Washington County Sheriff’s department. His attorneys have requested a bond hearing to have their client set free before his trial date. However, even if he is allowed out on bond, the judge in the case, Judge Erin Wiederman. has expressly forbidden Duggar from being at home with any of his minor children.
Instead, Duggar would have to reside in a separate location. Should he wish to see his kids, he’d need a third-party custodian present to supervise the interaction.
Duggar rose to fame as the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on the TLC reality television show 19 Kids and Counting. The show was actually canceled due to another scandal involving Josh Duggar: an anonymous tip sent into TLC alleging that Duggar had inappropriately touched five girls in 2002 and 2003–including his sisters. Duggar never faced charges for these alleged actions, though he did admit wrongdoing in a statement in 2015.
Around this same time, Duggar also admitted to having an addiction to adult entertainment and of cheating on his wife, Anna. However, the two stayed together–only a week before Duggar’s arrest, Anna posted on her Instagram that she was pregnant with the couple’s seventh child.