A jury in Fayetteville, Ark., found Duggar guilty on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography. He was taken into custody after the verdict was announced on Thursday morning. Each count comes with a fine of up to $250,000 after he’s sentenced in about four months.
Duggar is the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose family grew in size and fame on “19 Kids and Counting” in the early 2010s. He was arrested in April and accused of downloading explicit material showing the sexual abuse of children as young as 12. According to prosecutors, child pornography was downloaded to Duggar’s work computer in May 2019, as reported by the New York Times.
According to Justice Department computer expert James Fottrell, Duggar’s work computer obtained Linux, an open-source operating system that could avoid a tracking program. On Thursday, experts testified that a “partition” allegedly split the computer’s hard drive into a public business-related side and a secret second side that used Linux. Fottrell testified that sexually explicit photos and videos of children were found on the Linux side of the computer, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Duggar pleaded not guilty — with defense attorneys arguing that someone else had downloaded child pornography onto the work computer, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that there are detailed logs showing the activity on Duggar’s computer.
In 2015, TLC pulled “19 Kids and Counting” when Duggar was accused of molesting four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar’s parents said at the time that he confessed to the abuse and was seeking counseling.