Josh Duggar trial update: Dismissal on technicality still possible

Josh Duggar trial update 2

If you’ve put any faith in the United States’ judicial system, you’ve got to be feeling pretty stunned and confused today. And while the Supreme Court’s non-ruling on Texas’ new abortion law isn’t directly related to the Josh Duggar trial update, it’s hard not to think that Josh might actually have the child pornography charges against him dismissed on a technicality, as his attorneys have requested.

At first glance, the case against Josh looked pretty open-and-shut. He was arrested back in April on federal child pornography charges. We found out exactly why federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations had raided Josh’s used car lot back in November 2019. Josh posed for the drowsy-smirked mugshot you see above.

We soon found out exactly what the charges were: one count of receipt of child pornography and another of possession of child pornography. According to the latter charge, Josh had been in possession of “images of minors under the age of 12.”

(The federal charges further alleged that Josh’s child pornography possessions included 65 different images, and a video of two underage girls engaged in sex acts with a man.)

By early May, Josh was out on bond and ordered to stay at the home of some of the Duggar family’s friends. The conditions of his release included, among other things, house arrest, GPS monitoring, supervision by a probation officer, a total ban on internet use, and no visits with his children at all unless Anna Duggar was also present. His trial was “expected to begin” by July, meaning it likely could have been over by now if things had gone as scheduled.

But things have instead gone in the opposite direction. Last week, Josh’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss both charges against him. According to their filing, the government “failed to preserve evidence” that could have exonerated Josh, and the trial shouldn’t be allowed to go forward.

More specifically, the filing claims that “authorities searched the cellphones of three witnesses, one of whom was described as a ‘person of interest,'” then ditched them when they didn’t find anything criminal.

Because “the Government concluded the three devices they searched did not further its case against Duggar,” Josh’s attorneys argue, the HSI “therefore deprived Duggar of the opportunity to access this potentially exculpatory evidence.”

It also looks like the attorneys are suggesting that “someone else” could have put child pornography on Josh’s “work computer, backup laptop, and phone.” The government’s agents have been investigating Josh’s hardware, but “did not provide…evidence of other people’s child-abuse-free computers.”

As of now, Josh’s rescheduled trial is still on the docket for November 30th. Counting On got canceled earlier this summer, once and (presumably) for all, so that’s something. We can probably assume that Josh Duggar will not ever, in fact, be making a secret return to reality TV.

But I have to say, Josh’s his trial getting canceled on a technicality…I can’t believe that will sit right with anyone. Having him go to court and win would be one thing. But seeing him get off without a trial at all, after everything Josh has already done?

(Photo credit: Washington County Detention Center)

John Sharp is Starcasm’s chief editorial correspondent-at-large. Tips: E-mail or Twitter.

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