Josh Duggar granted bail and released from jail as he awaits trial in child porn case

Josh Duggar granted bail and released from jail as he awaits trial in child porn case

Josh Duggar, the former “19 Kids and Counting” star, will be released from jail May 6, pending a trial scheduled for July, after appearing virtually in federal court in Arkansas Wednesday for a detention hearing on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.

After a three-hour hearing, U.S. District Judge Christy Comstock ruled that Duggar will be released to “third-party custodians” – family friends of his parents – and cannot have any contact with minor children except his own six kids and then only in the presence of their mother, Anna Duggar. (The couple is expecting a seventh child in the fall.)

But he’s not going home, the judge ruled.

“I cannot in good conscience send you home,” Comstock said. “There are five or six minor children in your parents’ house, in your house and grandparent’s house.”

Josh Duggar pleads not guilty: Everything we know about his child pornography charges

Josh Duggar, the former "19 Kids and Counting" star, will be released from jail in 24 hours after appearing virtually in federal court in Arkansas Wednesday for a detention hearing on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. (Photo: Getty)

The judge said he can’t possess or view any pornography or erotica of any kind and he’s barred from accessing the internet via any device. 

Duggar will be subjected to GPS electronic monitoring and must stay in the residence of the Rebers, longtime friends of his parents, at all times except for certain activities, such as work, medical visits or meetings with his lawyers. He has to turn in his passport and can’t leave any of the three counties in the Western District of Arkansas.

“We don’t have enough technology to ensure compliance but you are not to possess or access any internet-capable device or ask for the passwords of the Rebers,” Comstock told Duggar, who appeared from the Washington County jail where he is being held.

“You can go to Target to get a Jitterbug phone to talk to your counselor or run your business, but you have to get it approved in advance by your probation supervisor,” the judge told him.

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The ruling came after several witnesses testified about the charges against Duggar, including Special Agent Gerald Faulkner, a Homeland Security investigator assigned to federal child exploitation cases, sex trafficking, interstate trafficking of minors and child pornography cases.

Under questioning by federal prosecutors, Faulkner told the judge that investigators found evidence of known series of child pornography on Duggar’s computer at his car dealership business, depicting sexual abuse of children as young as 18 months old. One series, he said, is called Daisy’s Destruction. 

“It ranks in the top five of the worst, worst I’ve ever had to examine,” Faulkner testified.

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