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Josh Duggar, the disgraced reality star of TLC’s canceled series ’19 Kids & Counting,’ has requested federal prosecutors provide information about the officers who arrested him.
Duggar, 33, was arrested in April on child pornography charges, as previously reported. The US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Arkansas claimed the defendant “used the internet to download child sexual abuse material.”
The following day, Duggar entered a plea of not guilty.
In a motion to compel filed in July by Duggar’s attorney, Justin K. Gelfand, the defense claims that federal prosecutors are “refusing to produce” the discovery of screenshots collected by Little Rock, Arkansas law enforcement during a raid conducted at Duggar’s place of business.
Attorneys argue that Little Rock Detective Amber Kramer and two other Arkansas-based law enforcement entities downloaded evidence from Duggar’s computer, according to court records. That evidence wasn’t handed over to Homeland Security until October of 2019.
“Despite multiple requests for this evidence in which the defense specifically and expressly explained to the government why Duggar is legally and constitutionally entitled to it, the Government has flat-out refused to produce it and has done so without acknowledging, much less engaging with, the defense’s positions,” the motion read. “As such, Duggar is left with no option but to move this Court to enter an order compelling its disclosure.”
Federal prosecutors responded to the July motion, saying that the request was an “impermissible fishing expedition for evidence that is either nonexistent, immaterial to his defense, or already produced,” according to a legal brief cited by Radar Online.
Prosecutors claim that the motion is a distracting ruse and that the Little Rock officers had nothing to do with the federal investigation.
“Despite the defendant’s repeated incantation, the two officers were not involved with the United States’ federal investigation of the defendant and they did not provide the prosecution team with any materials,” Assistant US Attorney Dustin Roberts wrote in a legal brief cited by Law & Crime. “They certainly were not acting on behalf of the United States with respect to this case, as explained in more detail above, and the defendant’s request for this alleged Brady material should therefore be denied.”
In July, Duggar’s defense team requested that his case be pushed back to next year to allow for time so experts for the defense could properly examine forensic evidence from their client’s computer.
At a detention hearing last May, Homeland Security Special Agent Jerry Faulkner told federal prosecutors about the graphic content found on Duggar’s computer, according to USA Today.
“It ranks in the top five of the worst, worst I’ve ever had to examine,” said Faulkner, who’d been assigned to over 1,000 cases involving child exploitation, sex trafficking, and child pornography cases.
Some of the material found on Duggar’s computer allegedly depicted the sexual abuse of minors as young as 18 months old.
“As with many cases based on undercover investigations of individuals sharing child sexual abuse material (“CSAM”) over peer-to-peer networks, this case is straightforward,” the legal brief states.
A judge has yet to rule on the motion.
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