Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' fame pleads not guilty to child pornography charges

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josh duggar
Josh Duggar, a former television personality on "19 Kids and Counting," posed for a booking photo after his arrest. Washington County Jail via Getty Images
  • Josh Duggar, a former reality-TV star, pleaded not guilty to child pornography charges on Friday.

  • Duggar was arrested on Thursday and held in jail in Washington County, Arkansas.

  • Duggar is expected to remain in custody until a bond hearing on May 5.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Josh Duggar, one of the stars of the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting," pleaded not guilty on Friday to receiving and possessing child pornography.

Federal prosecutors said in a press release that Duggar "allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material" in 2019. Some of that material involved children under the age of 12, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Duggar could face 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if he is convicted.

At an arraignment hearing in federal court in Arkansas, Chief Magistrate Judge Erin Wiedemann told Duggar's attorneys that "given the nature of the charges against him," Duggar would likely need to reside with a "third-party custodian" who could ensure that he complies with his bond conditions. That custodian must live in a home where there are no minors, Wiedemann said.

Duggar is expected to remain in custody until a bond hearing on May 5.

The 33-year-old former reality-TV star was arrested on Thursday afternoon by US Marshals, jail records showed. He was being held in the Washington County jail in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Duggar's arrest came less than a week after his wife, Anna, announced that they were expecting their seventh child.

TLC canceled the popular "19 Kids and Counting" in 2015 after 15 seasons, amid allegations that Duggar molested four of his sisters and a babysitter.

Two of Duggar's sisters have spoken out about the scandal, saying they have long since forgiven their brother. The sisters accused the media of perpetuating "revictimization that's even a thousand times worse" than the molestation.

Duggar has said previously: "I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends."

josh duggar
Josh Duggar at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015. Kris Connor/Getty Images

Also in 2015, hackers obtained customer information from the cheating website Ashley Madison that showed that Duggar had been a paying user. The breach showed that Duggar had paid the website roughly $986 between 2012 and 2015.

Duggar publicly acknowledged his infidelity and released a statement at the time, calling himself "the biggest hypocrite ever."

"While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife," Duggar said.

Late last year, Duggar lost a real-estate lawsuit filed by a property owner, Carl Echols, who alleged that Duggar purchased the land Echols had been living on for years without his knowledge. A judge ruled that Echols was the owner of the property, and Duggar's attorneys have since filed an appeal.

Read the original article on Insider