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Josh Duggar Released on Bail After Arrest on Child Pornography Charges

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Josh Duggar has been released from jail following his recent arrest on federal charges of receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children.

The 33-year-old former 19 Kids and Counting star pleaded not guilty to all charges during an online federal court hearing last Friday, April 30, a day after U.S. Marshals took him into custody. He also appeared remotely at a hearing on the case on Wednesday, May 5, during which a judge agreed to release him on bail. The sum was not made public. He is to await his trial, scheduled for July 6, while living at the home of family friends, pastor Lacount Reber and his wife, Maria Reber, and is allowed to see his own children.

Josh, a father of six who has a baby on the way, was freed from a Washington County, Arkansas detention center on Thursday, May 6, at 2 p.m. local time, prison records viewed by E! News showed.

The former reality star is accused of downloading child pornography in 2019, including one file that depicts the sexual abuse of children whose ages range from 18 months to 12 years old, a federal agent said in Wednesday's hearing. He added that images found on Josh's computer were "in the top five of the worst of the worst that I've ever had to examine."

Celeb Mug Shots

Josh faces charges of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography and could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 for each count if convicted.

Under the terms of his release prior to his trial, he will be monitored with a GPS anklet and will not be allowed to access the internet. He is permitted to visit his children but only while his pregnant wife, Anna Duggar, is also present.

"We intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly, Josh's attorneys said in a statement to E! News on Friday. "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."

Josh Duggar mug shot
Josh Duggar mug shot

Josh starred with his family on the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting between 2008 and 2015. That year, the show was canceled after an unearthed 2006 police report stated that when he was a teenager, Josh had sexually molested five underage girls while they slept. Josh was not charged.

He later resigned from his position at the Family Research Council, a Christian lobbying group, and issued a statement saying, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret."

His parents, Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar, later said in a Fox News interview that four of the girls were his sisters and that they sent Josh to counseling and had him speak to the police.

"He was still a kid. He was still a juvenile. He wasn't an adult," Jim Bob told host Megyn Kelly. "This was not rape or anything like that. This was touching someone over their clothes."

Following Josh's recent arrest and charges, his parents said in a statement last Friday, "We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family."

During Wednesday's hearing, the federal agent said investigators found on Josh's computer a program named Covenant Eyes, which aims to help users "overcome porn addiction." It was supposed to monitor his internet usage and report the findings to his wife. But the agent said the program did not detect Josh's online activity because he used a password-protected network.

Josh has admitted to having a porn addiction. Later in 2015, Josh admitted to and apologized for cheating on Anna, after the extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison was hacked and he was revealed as a subscriber. He said in a statement at the time, "I have been 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."

He then amended his statement to remove the part about a pornography addiction.

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.

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