Former reality TV star Josh Duggar has pleaded not guilty to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
Duggar, who starred on the TLC reality series 19 Kids and Counting, was arrested on Thursday in Arkansas, and prosecutors said Friday he allegedly “used the internet to download child sexual abuse material” and possessed material that “depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12.” He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for each count, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas said.
Making his first appearance in court on Friday through Zoom, Duggar pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to BuzzFeed News.
19 Kids and Counting, the reality show revolving around Duggar’s family, was canceled by TLC in 2015 after it came to light that Duggar allegedly molested young girls including his sisters when he was a teenager. “I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar said at the time. His attorneys said Friday “we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly.” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josh’s parents, in a statement to Us Weekly said the “accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious” and that “it is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light.”
According to TMZ, Duggar’s trial is scheduled for July.