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Josh Duggar, the former reality star of TLC’s “19 Kids And Counting,” has requested that his trial on federal child pornography charges be pushed back to next year.
Duggar's defense team argues they'll need more time to review the evidence in the case and have asked a judge to move the trial, slated to begin July 6, to at least February of 2022, according to Fox News.
In the request, Duggar’s attorneys say the evidence against their client requires their experts to examine Duggar’s computer. Duggar, 33, was arrested in April in his native Arkansas for allegedly downloading and possessing child pornography. The former TV star pleaded not guilty at an indictment that took place the following day.
“Based on the discovery provided to date, the Government’s allegations largely center on computer forensic evidence and anticipated expert opinion testimony,” Duggar’s defense attorneys stated in the filing, according to Fox News. The defense claims it has retained its own expert in what will be a “time-consuming process.”
Duggar's representatives further say that they are waiting for additional discovery from the prosecutors after “multiple requests,” according to Fox News.
At a hearing last May granting Duggar bail, U.S District Judge Christy Comstock ordered Duggar to wear GPS electronic monitoring. She also banned him from using the internet and prohibited him from viewing or possessing pornographic material. The ruling came after witness testimony from several people, including Homeland Security Special Agent Gerald Faulkner, according to USA Today.
In a federal court, Faulkner testified that some of the content on Duggar’s computer depicted the sexual abuse of children as young as 18-months-old.
“It was in the top five of the worst I’ve ever had to examine,” Faulkner told the judge, according to USA Today.
In 2015, TLC terminated the popular “19 Kids and Counting” series after revelations that Josh Duggar, the oldest of the Duggar children, had been investigated for allegedly molesting five underage girls as a teenager, including some his own sisters.
Duggar issued an apology over Facebook, according to CNN, writing that: “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”
That same year, Duggar also gave a public apology following his admission to having a porn addiction and cheating on his wife, Anna, with whom he shares six children, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile, authorities have yet to issue a response to Duggar’s filing to move the trial to next year.
Duggar faces up to 20 years imprisonment if convicted.
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