Josh Duggar’s appeal for a new trial has been denied in connection to his December 2021 child pornography conviction, where he was later sentenced to 12.5 years in prison, In Touch can confirm.

Duggar, 35, was ordered to spend 151 months behind bars after being arrested and charged with one count of possessing and one count of receiving child pornography. While he pleaded not guilty, he was later convicted of both counts in December 2021, with the possession conviction eventually being dismissed. 

His legal team has since filed three appeals, his most recent being in October 2022, where he requested a new trial. Josh’s legal team faced the prosecution in court on February 16, where his lawyer, Justin Gelfand, argued that federal agents allegedly seized Josh’s phone when he tried to contact his attorney during a raid at his business a year and a half before the arrest, as he spoke to the officers without counsel present.

“[Duggar] takes out his phone, physically puts it to his ear… for the purpose of contacting his legal counsel,” Gelfand said during the appeal hearing. “Federal agents physically took the phone out of his hand and deprived him of the ability to communicate with his legal counsel.”

His lawyer continued, “He was told he was free to go. No reasonable person in his shoes at that time would believe that.”

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Josh’s right to a new trial on August 7 on the basis that Josh retained freedom of movement throughout the encounter with officers.

“Duggar sat in the front passenger seat of the agents’ truck during the interview. They ‘did not handcuff him, the doors remained unlocked, and he entered and exited the front seat of the vehicle on his own,’” court documents read. “And although the agents ‘initiated contact with’ Duggar, he still ‘voluntarily acquiesced’ to the questioning. Indeed, he began the interview with a question of his own ‘[H]as somebody been downloading child pornography?’ — and ‘continued to converse’ with them for about an hour.”

The court’s decision concluded, “We accordingly affirm the judgment of the district court.”

The former 19 Kids & Counting star has been serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Facility (FCI) Seagoville in Texas and has a release date scheduled for August 12, 2032, according to the Bureau of Prisons, In Touch exclusively learned in July 2022. His stay had previously been extended to October 10, with the extension and subsequent addendum coming after the father of seven was moved to the prison’s Special Housing Unit (SHU) for allegedly having a cell phone on his person. Multiple reports indicate that FCI Seagoville’s solitary confinement conditions are “bad.” 

The disgraced reality star was transferred to FCI Seagoville near Dallas on June 24, 2022, after formerly being housed at the Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas since a jury returned with a guilty verdict in his child pornography trial on December 9, 2021. 

The same jury found Josh guilty of one count of possessing child pornography, which a judge later dropped at his May 25, 2022, sentencing. 

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