FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Jury selection is set to begin on Tuesday in the trial of former reality TV star Josh Duggar, 33, who is charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Duggar, best known for his family’s role on the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.
Duggar was arrested on April 29, 2021, but allegations regarding his behavior date back nearly two decades. The following is a timeline of events in the case.
2002-2003: Court documents detail statements that Duggar made to witnesses regarding alleged child molestation acts from 2002-03 when he was 14-15 years old.
While Duggar was never charged with a crime as a minor, the graphic depiction of acts in the court filings includes descriptions of “digital penetration” and other touching of five minor girls, four of whom are Duggar’s sisters.
Court documents state that all of the girls were at least three years younger than Duggar.
According to court filings, Duggar’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, met with “church elders” after hearing his son’s admission of the alleged activities. After telling these church members what happened, they suggested a “treatment” program.
According to a statement by Jim Bob Duggar in the court filings, his son was sent to a Christian program called the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, for four months, until July 17, 2003.
Jim Bob Duggar also spoke to an Arkansas State Trooper, Joseph T. Hutchens, in March 2003. Hutchens gave Duggar a “very stern talk” about what could happen if he “continued such behavior.” Jim Bob Duggar told police that Hutchens said “there was nothing else to do,” according to the police report.
Hutchens, 75, is currently serving 56 years in prison in Wrightsville, Arkansas on child pornography charges.
The admission of Jim Bob Duggar’s testimony as relevant to the upcoming trial has been the subject of multiple court filings by both sides. The matter is expected to be ruled on by Judge Timothy L. Brooks at a pretrail evidentiary hearing on Nov. 29.
Dec. 7-8, 2006: Members of the Duggar family were set to appear on the Dec. 8, 2006, recording of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” but producers canceled the appearance after receiving an anonymous email detailing Duggar’s alleged behavior just one day before the show was to tape.
Winfrey’s staff reached out to a child abuse hotline and contacted the police.
Dec. 12, 2006: Springdale police interviewed Jim Bob, Michelle, and Josh Duggar. Police also interviewed multiple girls subjected to the alleged molestations.
Dec. 20, 2006: Police determined that the time in which they could press charges for the acts in 2002-03 had expired.
March 2015: Court documents show that Duggar was sued by Danica Dillon, a 27-year-old who said that he propositioned her in a Philadelphia strip club and paid $1,500 “for her company.”
Dillon said Duggar then assaulted her while they were having sex, and that she suffered physically and emotionally after the incident.
May 21, 2015: “In Touch Weekly” magazine released police reports from 2006 regarding Duggar’s sexual molestation allegations as a youth.
May 22, 2015: The TLC network removed from its schedule all re-runs of “19 Kids and Counting,” the Duggar family’s reality show, with the statement, “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
July 16, 2015: TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting.”
August 20, 2015: Duggar admitted to being “unfaithful to [his] wife” after a report came out alleging that Duggar was a member of Ashley Madison, a Canadian-based website for adults seeking extramarital affairs.
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 has became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.Josh Duggar, in a statement on duggarfamily.com
Testimony regarding Duggar’s admission of this is another matter that has been the subject of court filings by the prosecution and defense teams.
May 18, 2017: Four of Duggar’s sisters filed a lawsuit alleging violation of their privacy with regard to the 2015 release of police reports about the alleged molestation acts by their brother. That trial is scheduled to start on Dec. 9 in the Western District of Arkansas Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
2019: On Nov. 19, Homeland Security conducted an investigation at Wholesale Motorcars, Duggar’s place of employment. Court documents state that downloads allegedly made on a computer there from May 14-16 were initially flagged by the Little Rock Police Department and traced to Duggar’s IP address.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Gerald Faulkner discussed one file in particular, depicting child sex abuse involving children ranging from the age of 18 months to 12 years old, describing what he found as being “in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.”
The admission of Agent Faulkner’s statement as evidence in the upcoming trial has been the subject of court motions by the prosecution and the defense.
April 29, 2021: Duggar is arrested and placed on a federal hold with no bail.
April 30, 2021: Duggar made his his first courtoom appearance of the trial, via Zoom, and was officially charged.
May 5, 2021: A detention hearing was held in court and Duggar was released to designated third-party custodians, family friends Lacount and Maria Reber. The terms of the release stated that Duggar would be confined to their home with GPS electronic monitoring.
Duggar is allowed to have unlimited contact with his children if his wife is present. However, he is not permitted to have any contact with any other minor child, including his siblings, five of whom are still under 18.
Duggar also submitted to supervision by the U.S. Probation Office, and is to be restricted to the third-party custodial residence at all times, except for court-ordered obligations, work or other activities approved in advance.
He is not allowed to possess or review erotica of any kind, access or utilize any internet device or obtain passwords from his custodians. He was also ordered to surrender his passport, and is forbidden from leaving the United States, with travel restricted to the western district of Arkansas.
June 2021: With the trial scheduled to begin on July 6, the defense requested a delay until February 2022. The court found this to be an “unnecessary delay.” The trial is subsequently set for Nov. 30.
Oct. 29, 2021: Jim Bob Duggar announced his candidacy for Arkansas State Senate, District 7. He previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2002.
November 2021: Both sides file multiple motions with the court, regarding a variety of issues including witness eligibility and relevance. The prosecution details their repeated attempts to serve subpoenas to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, with their process server’s efforts requiring 15 hours of work to no avail.
Nov. 17, 2021: Duggar’s wife, Anna, announced the birth of their seventh child in an Instagram post. Madyson Lily Duggar was born on Oct. 23.
Nov. 18, 2021: At a pretrial hearing, Judge Timothy L. Brooks rules that an evidentiary hearing will be needed before the trial can begin.
That hearing is scheduled for Nov. 29, with jury selection to begin the following day.
Nov. 30, 2021: The trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.