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As the child pornography case against former reality TV star Josh Duggar continues, prosecutors propose that his father take the witness stand.
Josh Duggar, 33, was arrested last April after Homeland Security raided his place of business and confiscated more than 200 images containing alleged sexual abuse against children, according to federal prosecutors. At a pre-trial hearing on Thursday, Judge Timothy Brooks conducted a “walkthrough of elements and components of the trial,” weighing whether or not he’d allow witnesses to testify about Duggar’s questionable past, according to KWNA News.
Prosecutors filed motions on Nov. 3 to introduce evidence testimony to establish “multiple instances” in which Duggar allegedly molested minors in 2002 and 2003. Those previous accusations came to light in 2015, and Duggar admitted to “inexcusable” acts against underage girls, including his own sisters, according to ABC News. The alleged sexual misconduct, perpetrated by Duggar when he was a teenager, led to the cancellation of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” which followed the lives of Duggar, his parents and numerous siblings in Arkansas.
The prosecution requested that Duggar’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, testify as one of its witnesses regarding the 2015 scandal, to which the defense “disagrees adamantly, ” according to KWNA. Duggar’s defense attorney, Justin Gelfand, argued the allegations that surfaced in 2015 were more than 18 years old and that no charges were ever filed.
“The defendant attempted to and did commit a crime as defined by Arkansas state law involving contact between any part of the defendant’s body and a child’s genitals or anus – namely, sexual assault in the second degree,” the prosecution stated in its motion, according to KWNA News.
The defense took issue with the notice on Thursday, claiming they only received a “single email” from the prosecution about two witnesses, including Jim Bob, according to KWNA. They discussed what the witnesses may testify to.
“If introduced, the government anticipates that the evidence will consist of testimony that the defendant was investigated for, admitted to, and received counseling for touching and sexually molesting multiple minor females, including one instance involving the digital penetration of a prepubescent minor,” the prosecution continued.
Judge Brooks stated he was “very hesitant” to rule on the motions without an evidentiary hearing with witnesses. Brooks referenced other cases that accepted similar types of evidence and scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Nov. 29, the eve of Duggar’s first day of trial.
Duggar pleaded not guilty in April to two federal counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. His case has attracted widespread publicity during months of motions filed in hopes of having the criminal charges dropped.
On Tuesday, Duggar and his wife, Anna, announced the birth of their seventh child, Madyson Lily Duggar.
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines reaching $250,000 per each criminal count.
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