Josh Duggar’s request for bond was approved during his bail hearing six days following his arrest on child porn charges, In Touch can confirm. 

Judge Christy Comstock approved Josh’s release from jail on Wednesday, May 5. He is set to be released on Thursday, May 6. During the hearing, which Josh attended via Zoom from Washington County jail, Judge Comstock set conditions for his release.

“I will tell you that your own children, and your siblings, children, and your [minor] brothers and sisters, they’re all part of the larger society that the court must consider in protecting from you,” Judge Comstock told the former 19 Kids and Counting star, 33. “I cannot in good conscience, send you home.”

Judge Comstock explained that, according to court documents, Josh currently lives in a guesthouse on parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar‘s property in Arkansas. Because there are six minor children living at home still with Jim Bob and Michelle, because Josh’s six minor children live in the guesthouse and because there are several other minor Duggar children who visit their grandparents on the property on a regular basis, she would not allow him to return to his home.

Instead, Jim Bob, 55, arranged for family friends Lacount Reber and wife Maria Reber to allow Josh to stay with them. Josh is to be released into home confinement in the custody of the Duggar family friends with GPS electronic monitoring. Josh will be restricted to the residence at all times except for employment, rotation, religious services, medical care, attorney visits, court appearances, court-ordered obligations or other activities that the probation office must approve in advance. Josh will be allowed to have unlimited contact with his kids as long as his wife, Anna Duggar (née Keller), is present. He cannot be around any other children.

Federal prosecutors previously suggested that Josh should stay in custody, but he was able to request to be released at his hearing this afternoon.

Josh Duggar Arrested Being Held Without Bond
Washington County Police Dept.

The day before the hearing, Josh’s attorneys argued that he is not a flight risk and has “deep ties” to Arkansas following his not guilty plea. The former TV personality’s charges were tied to the November 2019 raid at his offices, and he fully complied with authorities. He also asked the judge to first allow him to return home to his pregnant wife and their six kids.

Josh and Anna, 32, are currently expecting baby No. 7 together. They also share children Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.

During Josh’s previous hearing, Chief Magistrate Judge Erin L. Wiedemann said that if the TLC alum posted bond, he would need to stay with a third-party custodian due to “the nature of the charges” against him.

“So, you all would need to get that lined out and inform our probation office of who that individual is as soon as possible so that they can interview that person. They also will want to interview Mr. Duggar,” added Wiedemann, highlighting there would be some additional requirements.

“They’ll just get information for you to determine whether you are a good candidate for release,” the judge continued. “I will also advise you that any proposed third-party custodian, it would need to be in a residence, where there are no minors in the home. You all would need to be looking for somebody that will ensure compliance with conditions of release and can ensure to the court that there are no minors in the home, or that would be visiting unsupervised.”

The Arkansas resident could be facing up to 40 years of jail time and half a million dollars in fines if he is found guilty on both counts, as he was charged with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The judge will determine if he will serve each count concurrently or not.

Josh Duggar Arrested Being Held Without Bond
Shutterstock

Josh allegedly used the internet to download the child sexual abuse material, “some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019,” according to a press release from the United States Department of Justice obtained by In Touch.

Amid questions about the future of his family’s TV show Counting On, TLC released a statement acknowledging the serious charges against Josh.

“TLC is saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving Josh Duggar,” the network wrote on April 30. “19 Kids & Counting has not aired since 2015. TLC canceled the show on the heels of prior allegations against Josh Duggar, and he has not appeared on-air since then.”

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