Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial began on Wednesday after a judge ruled jurors could hear evidence the former reality TV star admitted to assaulting four girls almost 20 years ago.
The evidence in question was included in the testimony of a friend of the Duggar family during a preliminary hearing on Monday.
The woman testified that the former “19 Kids and Counting” star told her in 2003 that he assaulted four girls.
Duggar’s defense team argued that he had never been charged with the allegations and that they were not relevant to his current case.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks disagreed.
“The victims of child pornography in this case are roughly the same age as the victims of the pedophilia offenses committed by the accused,” Brooks wrote in the decision.
“Accordingly, the evidence of the prior act is probative of the accused’s sexual interest in minor children and his propensity to exploit young girls.”
Duggar, 33, was charged in April with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.
He is accused of downloading child pornography files onto a computer at his now closed used car dealership for three days in May 2019.
In May, a federal agent said at least 65 images of child pornography were on the troubled TV star’s computer, including a two-minute video showing a man sexually assaulting two girls ages 5-10. years.
Duggar pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence.
In opening statements, Duggar’s attorney, Justin Gilfand, argued that someone else had downloaded or placed the images depicting child sexual abuse on his computer.
“If you like mysteries, then so do,” Gilfand told jurors, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
“It’s a classic old school thriller.”
But federal prosecutors detailed logs showing activity on Duggar’s computer that alternated between sending personal messages, downloading child pornography and saving photos of notes, the newspaper reported.
With post wires