Ex-reality TV star Josh Duggar seeks acquittal in child pornography ruling

"Duggar was deprived of materially exculpatory evidence until the evening before the government rested its case," lawyers wrote

Updated: January 21, 2022 - 6:41pm

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Following former reality TV star Josh Duggar's conviction on child pornography last month, his lawyer has filed a motion for acquittal.

Duggar was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography, facing up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count. His sentencing hearing has yet to be set.

On Wednesday, Duggar's lawyer requested his client be acquitted for downloading and possessing child pornography, claiming that he was unfairly prevented from calling a "necessary witness" during his week-long trial, Insider reported.

The witness was employed at Duggar's Arkansas used car lot, which is where federal authorities found a computer that was used to download videos and photos of child sexual abuse.

Duggar's attorney said that the employee was a registered sex offender who had "regularly used the desktop computer in the months and weeks leading up to May 2019." Between May 14 and May 16 of that year was when the imagery found on the computer was downloaded.

The former employee, whom the prosecutors and federal authorities had previously interviewed, purportedly sent an "unsolicited email" shortly before the trial to a prosecutor. In it, he stated that he had been "completely mistaken" about not being at Duggar's used car lot, which he had originally told investigators.

He also said that he had been in Arkansas between May 8 and May 11, 2019, which was days before Duggar's child pornography downloading activity, and didn't remember whether or not he had used the computer.

Duggar's lawyers said that while the former employee shared the information in hopes that it would "establish that he was not at the car lot on certain dates in question," they claim prosecutors improperly concealed the email until three days prior to Duggar's trial starting.

After the trial started, the attorneys said that the former employee sent another follow-up email with the social media passwords of several other Duggar siblings. They claim the information would have aided them in showing that a number of people could access various Duggar-related accounts.

"In this case, Duggar was deprived of materially exculpatory evidence until the evening before the Government rested its case," his lawyers wrote.

Duggar's attorney is requesting a new trial if the motion to acquit is denied, according to The Hill.