Anti-LGBTQ activist Josh Duggar has been arrested and charged with possessing and receiving child pornography. Duggar, 33, was apprehended in Arkansas yesterday afternoon and is being held without bond. The former “family values” reality show star allegedly downloaded images, “some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019,” according to charging documents.
Accusations that he had molested his younger sisters had previously cost Duggar his job with the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council in 2015.
He faces 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 for each count. He pled not guilty in a Zoom hearing today.
Duggar rose to fame on the hit TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting. He’s the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 children and now, at age 33, he already has six children of his own and his wife just announced on Instagram last week that she’s pregnant with the seventh.
He cashed in on his fame from the show and became the executive director of FRC Action, a PAC run by the SPLC-designated anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council. He appeared at rallies to oppose marriage equality across the country and was a public face for the organization.
In 2013, while working at FRC, he said that his lesbian aunt “chooses” to live a lesbian “lifestyle.” The next year he said that LGBTQ rights threaten children. His mother recorded a robocall at the time that said that anti-discrimination measures let “child predators” threaten “the safety and innocence of a child.”
But in 2015, accusations that she and her husband helped cover up their son Josh’s alleged sexual abuse of his little sisters came to light.
Duggar was forced to resign from FRC Action and TLC canceled the family’s show soon after, and more revelations came out about how his parents thought Christian counseling was enough to reform him.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar said in a statement at the time. “I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
The officer who he and his father talked to allegedly only gave him a “stern talk” and didn’t investigate further. That same state trooper was later himself arrested on unrelated child pornography charges and sentenced to 56 years in prison.
This didn’t stop Duggar from using his platform and fame to attack LGBTQ equality. In 2017, he attacked another underaged girl who had a reality show on TLC: Jazz Jennings.
“What an oxymoron… a ‘reality’ show which follows a non-reality,” Duggar tweeted. “‘Transgender’ is a myth. Gender is not fluid; it’s ordained by God.”
“Every day I experience cyber-bullying, but I keep sharing my story,” Jennings, who was 16 at the time, responded. “Today was no different.”