Josh DuggarThe former “19 Kids and Counting” star will be released on May 6, pending trial scheduled for July, after he actually appeared in Arkansas federal court Wednesday for a detention hearing on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
After a three-hour hearing, US District Judge Christy Comstock ruled that Duggar would be released to “third-party guardians” – family friends of his parents – and could not have any contact with minor children except for his six children, and then only in the presence of their mother Anna Duggar. (The couple is expecting a seventh child in the fall.)
The judge ruled, but he will not go home.
“I cannot take you home in good conscience,” Comstock said. “There are five or six minor children in your parents’ house, in your home and in your grandfather’s house.”
Josh Duggar pleads not guilty:All we know about his accusations of child pornography
The judge said he could not possess or view pornography or erotica of any kind, and was prevented from accessing the Internet via any device.
Duggar will be subject to electronic GPS monitoring and must stay at the home of the Rebers, his parents’ long-time friends, at all times except for some activities, such as work, medical visits, or meetings with his attorney. He must hand in his passport and cannot leave any of the three counties in the Western Arkansas region.
Comstock said to Dougar, who emerged from the Washington County Jail where he is being held.
The judge told him, “You can go to Target to get the Jitterbug phone to talk to your counselor or run your business, but you need to get pre-approval from your probation supervisor.”
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 issues.
Under questioning by federal prosecutors, Faulkner told the judge that investigators had found evidence of a known chain of child pornography on Doggar’s computer in his car dealership, which depicted the sexual abuse of children as young as 18 months old. He said one of the series is called Daisy Destruction.
“It ranks among the top five among the worst, worst I’ve ever had to check,” Faulkner said in his testimony.