Josh Duggar wants his December 2021 conviction on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography overturned, and if that doesn’t happen, he is requesting a new trial. In court paperwork obtained by In Touch, the former reality star’s lawyers have argued several reasons why they believe the jury wasn’t given sufficient information from prosecutors that could have helped acquit the former 19 Kids and Counting star.
During his December 2021 trial, prosecutors had argued that some of the child pornography images found on Duggar’s work computer showed minors under the age of 12. But in Duggar’s motion, his team says no proof was offered that he “knew that the visual depictions were of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” The legal team claimed that proof of Duggar’s knowledge that he was viewing minors was “a necessary element for conviction of each count.”
The motion also argued that there was no evidence that Duggar personally viewed the child pornography images allegedly found on his work computer. “Indeed, the evidence at trial established that certain files allegedly found on the HP desktop computer were never viewed by any user of the computer and that all the files at issue had been deleted shortly after being downloaded,” the paperwork read.
It continued, “the jury had no evidence that Duggar personally viewed any specific portion of any of the files allegedly found on the computer. As such, there was no evidence of mens rea from which the jury could base its guilty verdict as to each count.” Josh stood trial on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography, and was convicted on both counts.
In the filing, Duggar’s legal team argued that Duggar wasn’t the only one who had the passwords to access the computer in question, claiming that Caleb Williams, an “individual who had access to the car lot,” had the passwords as well. Williams allegedly wrote to the Department of Justice’s trial attorney William Clayman in a follow-up email after talking with Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts that he “was completely mistaken about not being at the Wholesale Motorcars lot during the time I was in Arkansas (AR) between May 8, 2019 – May 11, 2019.”
In another email, Williams allegedly told Clayman that he “also found a few more passwords if you all want them. At some point several of the Duggar guys asked me to run the back ends of some of their social media to help them sell cars. Jed, Josiah, and Joseph I do believe. I still have access to Jed’s fake account and Josiah’s account,” referring to Josh’s younger brothers.
Duggar was arrested and taken into custody on April 29, 2021, after a federal grand jury in Arkansas indicted the former TLC star for “knowingly” receiving illicit images of children under the age of 12. His trial began on November 30, 2021, and concluded on December 9 with a conviction both charges. Duggar is currently behind bars while awaiting a sentencing date. He faces a up to 40 years in prison, with each count carrying a 20-year maximum sentence.
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