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Duggar judge bars devices

Sentencing for former reality TV figure set for Wednesday by Ron Wood | May 21, 2022 at 3:33 a.m.
This photo provided by the Washington County (Ark.) Jail shows Joshua Duggar. Former reality TV Star Josh Duggar is being held in a northwest Arkansas jail after being arrested, Thursday, April 29, 2021 by federal authorities, but it’s unclear what charges he may face. (Washington County Arkansas Jail via AP)

FAYETTEVILLE -- A federal judge has again banned electronic devices from the courthouse during proceedings involving Josh Duggar's child pornography case.

Duggar was convicted Dec. 9 of possessing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks is set to sentence him at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Fayetteville.

Brooks issued an order Thursday prohibiting members of the public and the media from entering the courthouse with cellular phones, recording devices or any other type of electronic device, such as laptop computers or tablets, unless he grants specific, advance permission.

Attorneys and their assistants sitting inside the rail of the courtroom are exempted from the order, but were instructed to email the courtroom deputy at least one day before the hearing with the names of those trial team members who will bring electronic devices and a brief description of each device.

Generally, personal electronic devices are allowed to be brought into the courthouse, but they must be turned off in the courtroom.

Duggar, 34, of Springdale, was charged in federal court with two counts involving receiving and possessing child pornography. The jury found him guilty on both counts after more than six hours of deliberation over two days.

He'll only be sentenced on the count of receiving child pornography because possession of child pornography is considered a lesser included offense under federal law.

Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. He's been held at the Washington County Detention Center since being convicted.

Federal prosecutors are recommending Duggar be sentenced to 20 years in prison on his child pornography conviction, while Duggar's lawyers say he should receive no more than five.

Prosecutors accused Duggar in early 2021 of using the internet to download and view child pornography, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children younger than 12, according to court documents.

Prosecutors told jurors child pornography was repeatedly downloaded on the computer at Duggar's used car lot on May 14, 15 and 16 of 2019.

Duggar's attorneys contended he didn't do it and suggested an unidentified, remote user may have downloaded the child porn.

Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, is best known for being part of his family's cable television reality show on the TLC channel, "19 Kids and Counting." The show, which chronicled the Duggar family's home life, was canceled in 2015 after it became public knowledge that, as a teen, Josh Duggar molested four of his sisters and another girl.

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