Duggar, 33, was once a religious and political lobbyist, but has been out of the spotlight following reports in 2015 that he had assaulted five underage girls (including two of his sisters).
Court documents allege that Duggar used the internet to download child sexual abuse material. He possessed this material, which the court says depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.
Duggar is being charged by indictment with receiving and possessing child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for each each count. This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation.
In 2015, TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting,” the once-popular program about the large Duggar clan. Josh is the oldest child in the devout Baptist family and had been one of the central figures on the show. The reality series became a liability for the network after Josh Duggar disclosed he had sexually molested teenage girls.
“19 Kids” premiered in 2008, following the family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and their (at first) 17 children, later expanding to 18 and then 19. Once the molestation details began to surface, support for the program wavered with advertisers, including General Mills, Choice Hotels International and Payless Shoe Source.
Discovery Communications later took a financial hit, having to write down the value of the canceled series.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” Duggar said in a 2015 statement.