Today, Josh Duggar had his first hearing about the child pornography charges he is facing. Homeland Security began an investigation into Duggar for child pornography in November 2019 and arrested him at the end of April. This hearing was to determine whether Josh will be allowed to go home while he waits for trial. Fortunately, an earlier judge has her shit together and has already barred Josh from residing anywhere where minor children live, which definitely means he will not be going home to his six children and wife who is pregnant with their seventh. Jim Bob asked a couple from their church/cult to be Josh’s custodians and let Josh live with them if the judge allows. Josh has pleaded not guilty to the child pornography charges.
Here are some more details about the case that came out of the hearing today:
- Josh Duggar had his laptop seized by the feds. They also seized a second laptop that Josh had when he was brought in as well as his phone. Before being informed why he was there, Josh asked the feds if someone had downloaded child pornography onto his computer.
- Josh’s defense team argued that Josh’s history of molesting children is “sealed” and isn’t relevant to this child pornography case. Thankfully, the judge overruled this.
- Agents say Josh’s friends and family say he has a “porn addiction”. I’m not sure if this is cap since he has acted on his impulses before by literally molesting children. It’s clearly not just a porn addiction at work here here. Also many people have a porn addiction and never escalate into child porn.
- Josh had “accountability software” on his devices called Covenant Eyes. This means Anna Duggar was monitoring Josh’s internet use. There was a Linux workaround to the accountability software installed so she was not aware of his child porn use.
- The password Josh used to download child pornography is the same password he uses for his bank account and several other websites, meaning it is unlikely to be a case of mistaken identity or someone else downloading the images on his computers.
- Josh had installed a TOR browser for himself, which allows someone to communicate anonymously on the dark web.
- On one of Josh’s confiscated computers, 65 inappropriate images of female children were found. The children in these photos were between the ages of 7-9.
- In addition to child porn, rape porn was also viewed from this account.
- An agent said one of the files he reviewed for this case “is in the top five worst I have ever had to examine,” as it includes children as young at 18 months old.
- An agent found 200 CP images that had tried to be deleted but were still on Josh’s computer.
- A witness present at the hearing says Josh was “pleasant and unbothered” in court.
- Josh has identified a home where someone has volunteered to be a “custodian” for him and no minor children are present. He is asking to be allowed to live there while he waits for his trial.
The prosecution’s first witness was Special Agent Gerald Faulkner who has been with Homeland Security for 12 years and worked over 1,000 child exploitation cases. The initial 2 incidents of child porn distribution in May 2019 are really disturbing. The agent shares details that confirm the images feature young children under the age of 10 and are explicitly sexual. This is important because you aren’t specific people tend to minimize the severity of a crime. Six months after these images were downloaded, Homeland Security executed a warrant for Josh’s car lot in November 2019. Josh voluntarily spoke with investigators that day. This is when he offered up, “What is this about? Has anyone been downloading child pornography?”
The prosecution’s second witness was Diem Nguyen, a probation officer for 17 years. She explained cases where a custodian is used and who would be Josh’s custodian if he is released. This is a person who vouches for him in federal court and who Josh will live with while he waits for trial. Mr. LaCount Reaver and Ms. Maria Reaver are the people who have volunteered to be custodians for Josh Duggar. I can’t find any information about these people on the internet. Diem Nguyen says they are friends with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, it seems like through the family’s church/cult, the Institute in Basic Life Principles. LaCount Reaver is a VA employee and a pastor with a prison ministry. His wife is a stay at home wife. While being questioned, Maria Reaver expressed concerns about whether she will be left alone with Josh. Diem Nguyen’s recommendation is that Josh not be released into the Reaver’s custodianship and he remain in custody until his trial.
The defense’s first witness was Maria Reaver. This surprised me because she just said she was afraid to be alone with Josh. She admits she has not been made fully aware of Josh’s sex pest history. She is surprised to learn that Josh was caught molesting a 5-year-old when he was 14. She says she and her husband have a mother-in-law suite and would be willing to be Josh’s custodians. If accepted, Maria Reaver and her adult daughter would be alone with Josh every day from 6:30am and until her husband gets home at 4pm. She has never spoken directly to Josh but will do whatever it takes because she wants to “minister” to him. She says Jim Bob Duggar called the couple and asked them to be Josh’s custodians.
It really should have been brought up to the judge that it seems like the Reavers are members of the Duggar’s cult and because Jim Bob is a leader in the cult, there are some inappropriate power dynamics at play here. This is especially true for Maria Reaver, because women in the Duggar’s cult are not allowed to make decisions for themselves. They are told god asks them to joyfully agree with whatever their father says until their father transfers his authority to the woman’s husband, then the woman is told god asks them to joyfully agree with whatever their husband says. Maria Reaver believes she is unable to speak for herself or else god will be mad at her. When asked point blank if she actually wants Josh to be in her home, she answered “My husband has made the decision and I’m here to support that decision.”
The defense’s second witness was LaCount Reaver. He states that he was also not fully aware of Josh’s history. He had no idea how young the children were when Josh abused them. He doesn’t know Josh well and the two have not spoken in over a year. He states he has “no hesitation” about leaving his wife or daughter alone with Josh.
In the end, the judge ruled that Josh Duggar would be released. He will live with LaCount and Maria Reaver while he waits for his trial. He will be allowed unlimited contact with his children if his wife is present. This is concerning because of the Duggar’s religious beliefs which would render Anna Duggar unable to properly prioritize the safety of her children over what her husband tells her to do.
Some people have commented that I am going too hard on Duggar. I don’t understand the idea that we shouldn’t be talking about a heinous crime. Isn’t that exactly what you should do when a heinous crime happens? Talk about it? Try to figure out how this guy got so fucked up so that it doesn’t happen again?
In this case we know exactly how Josh Duggar got so fucked up and it’s extremely likely that this happens again until the cult that taught him it is godly to be a sex predator is exposed. This is not a good situation in which to be silent. Condemn Josh Duggar. Condemn the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Divest from people who use religion to hide abusers or silence victims. If you feel we shouldn’t be so hard on Josh or the IBLP men who protected him, please examine why you feel so compelled to manage the emotions of abusers. There’s a good answer in there.
Sex pest parents Jim Bob and Michelle have released a vague statement: “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
I’ll publish more as the case develops. Shout out to the users of r/duggarsnark for collecting excellent notes on the bond hearing. If you’re interested in critical discussion of fundamentalist reality TV stars, there’s no better place.
You can find help and resources related to the Institute in Basic Life Principles here.