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Court sets date to hear appeal in Duggar’s child pornography conviction

by Ron Wood | January 17, 2023 at 12:14 p.m.
Josh Duggar

FAYETTEVILLE -- A three judge panel of 8th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals will hear oral arguments in Josh Duggar's appeal of his child porn conviction Feb 16 in Kansas City.

Duggar, 34, was convicted Dec. 9, 2021 of possessing child pornography by a federal court jury in Fayetteville. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks sentenced Duggar to 12½ years in federal prison May 25.

He 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. Duggar of Springdale, was sentenced on the single count of receiving child pornography because possession of child pornography is considered a lesser included offense under federal law.

Duggar is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Texas.

In addition to his prison sentence, Duggar was also ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release after his prison term and to pay a $10,000 fine. Brooks also assessed three special assessment fees totaling $40,100.

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. They told jurors child pornography was repeatedly downloaded on the computer at Duggar's used car lot 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's appeal has been delayed repeatedly by his lawyers asking for more time. They're seeking to overturn his federal child pornography conviction or at least get a new trial.

The appeal cites three specific issues:

"Whether the district court violated Duggar's constitutional right to present a complete defense by precluding Duggar from calling and, if necessary, impeaching a critical witness at trial."

"Whether the district court erred by denying Duggar's motion to suppress statements after a federal agent physically stopped him from contacting his attorney and subsequently interrogated him outside the presence of his counsel."

"Whether the district court erred by permitting the government's expert to offer testimony on EXIF metadata and prohibiting Duggar's expert from testifying to the unreliability of the methodology used by the government's expert."

EXIF metadata is a set of metadata attached to photo or video files, such as when and where a photo was taken and with what device. It stands for exchangeable image file format.

Prosecutors say the claims are meritless. Brooks rejected the arguments during and after Duggar's trial.

Print Headline: Oral arguments set in Duggar appeal


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