Josh Duggar, whose family was the subject of a TLC reality show in 2008, was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography in Arkansas on Friday.
In a court appearance for Zoom, he pleaded not guilty to both counts.
“Josh Duggar has been indicted in a two-count indictment,” his lawyers said in a statement Friday. “He has pleaded not guilty to both counts and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you are charged, you can fight back in the courtroom – and that’s exactly what Josh intends to do. “
Duggar “allegedly used the Internet to download child sexual abuse material,” the US District Attorney’s Office for the Western Arkansas District said in a statement.
Some of the documents “depict sexual abuse of children under 12 in May 2019,” the statement said.
If convicted, Duggar could face a fine of $ 250,000 and jail time of up to 20 years on each count.
He was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Thursday and being held in federal custody at the Washington County Detention Center, NBC affiliate KNWA previously reported.
Duggar, 33, was featured on a TLC network reality show with his family called “19 Kids and Counting,” which ran from 2008 to 2015. The show chronicled the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children, of whom Duggar was the oldest and often centered on the religious beliefs of the family as devout Baptists.
In 2015, following a report by In Touch magazine that he was investigated for assaulting his four younger sisters and a babysitter, Duggar released a statement saying he “had acted inexcusably “when he was a teenager and was” extremely sorry “. An Arkansas police report said Duggar was investigated in 2006 when he was 18. He has never been arrested or charged with any crime.
The Duggar family appeared to admit the allegations in a 2015 interview with Fox News, with father Jim Bob Duggar telling Megyn Kelly that her son touched the girls over and under their clothes while they were sleeping, and that he was “just curious about the girls.” “
A few months later, following the apparent hacking of the extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison, Duggar was found to have frequented the site. He released a statement following the Hollywood Reporter and Gawker reports saying he was “so ashamed of the double life I’ve lived” and apologized to his wife.
Josh Duggar enrolled in a rehab facility soon after, according to his mother’s blog.