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Former Reality Star Josh Duggar Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

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Update: Former “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar has been indicted on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, according to multiple news reports.

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas alleged Duggar “knowingly” received images of children under the age of 12. The former TLC star has been charged on two counts pertaining to child pornography.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Duggar could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count.  “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children,” the press release said. 

The case is being prosecuted in part by national initiative Project Safe Childhood, a program started in 2006 by the Department of Justice to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. 

Our original story follows:

Former reality star Josh Duggar was been arrested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is being held without bond in an Arkansas jail on unspecified charges, People reported.

An Arkansas car dealership where he worked was previously raided by Homeland Security in November 2019. It is unclear whether the current arrest is related to that raid.

He also is named in an ongoing civil case for real estate fraud, per TMZ.

Duggar, 33, was featured along with his family on the TLC program 19 Kids and Counting, which ran for seven years until its cancellation in 2015. The show focused on his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and their conservative lifestyle with multiple children.

The arrest comes just days after he and his wife Anna, 32, announced  they are expecting their seventh child together, a baby girl, in the fall.

It’s not the first time Josh Duggar has been under investigation for a crime.

In 2015, he was charged with inappropriately touching five underage girls when he was a teenager, including two of his sisters, Jill and Jessa. The show was pulled from the air and cancelled soon after as Jim Bob and Michelle said they would help Josh seek help.

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Three months later, reports appeared showing he had accounts on the hookup website Ashley Madison. He then posted a statement on the family website apologizing for his infidelity to his wife and revealing that he had a pornography addiction.

“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. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him,” the statement read.

“The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings,” he said.

Some Duggar family members continue to be featured on a sequel on TLC, “Counting On.”

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Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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