Josh Duggar's internet usage was sent to his wife to track his porn habit, federal officials say

·3 min read
Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar's computer had accountability software installed that monitored internet usage. Brian Frank/Reuters
  • Duggar's computer had "accountability software" that sent internet-usage reports to his wife, Anna.

  • A federal agent said the software, Covenant Eyes, was registered to both Duggar and Anna.

  • Duggar pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Josh Duggar, who's been charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, had "accountability software" installed on his computer that monitored his internet usage and sent reports to his wife, a federal agent testified in a detention hearing on Wednesday.

Duggar, who formerly appeared on the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting" alongside his parents and 18 siblings, was arrested on April 29 and pleaded not guilty to the charges the following day.

A Department of Homeland Security special agent testified at Wednesday's hearing that during a 2019 raid at Duggar's Arkansas car dealership, he recovered a desktop computer that contained 65 child-pornography images and a two-minute video. He said the computer had the software "Covenant Eyes" installed, as did the former reality star's personal laptop.

The software is intended to monitor the internet usage of people with pornography addictions and share reports with an "accountability partner" or "trusted ally," the agent, and the software's website, said.

The agent added that the software (which had an account password ending in the four digits of Duggar's birth year) was registered to Duggar and his wife, Anna, and that Duggar had also installed a Tor Browser to access the dark web and evade detection by Covenant Eyes.

The agent also said one of the files found on the desktop computer was one of the "top five worst of the worst" he's had to examine in the 1,000 cases he's worked on.

On Wednesday, a judge said Duggar could be released from jail while awaiting trial

Judge Christy Comstock ruled on Wednesday that Duggar, who is expecting his seventh child with Anna, could be released from jail on Thursday while he awaits trial on the child-pornography charges.

His attorneys had previously asked for Duggar to be released to his immediate family - specifically, his wife and six kids - in a May 4 filing, but Comstock told Duggar on Wednesday, "I cannot in good faith send you home."

josh duggar
Duggar posed for a booking photo after his arrest on April 29, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Washington County Jail via Getty Images

Instead, Duggar is expected to live with Lacount and Maria Reber, a couple friendly with Duggar's father, Jim Bob. Duggar's release came with a set of conditions, such as remaining under home confinement with a GPS monitor.

He's allowed to leave the house only for essential activities such as work, education, or church, and for medical needs. Duggar is also forbidden from contact with any minor children, except for his own, whom he can see if his wife is also present.

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

At Wednesday's hearing, the prosecutors said the probation officer also referenced Duggar's 2015 scandal, in which he was accused of having molested four of his sisters and a babysitter as a teen.

"19 Kids and Counting" was canceled after the accusations, which were first reported by Duggar's father years earlier, surfaced. Duggar was never charged in connection with the 2015 allegations.

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