Josh, 33, is facing two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography. Josh is the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 children. The family is known for the former “19 Kids and Counting” series on TLC, which was pulled from the network after Josh’s molestation scandal came to light in 2015.
At Monday’s evidentiary hearing, Jim Bob was subpoenaed by the prosecution and confirmed his son had come to him around 2002 with the admission that he inappropriately touched four minor females, identified as Jane Does 1 through 4. However, Jim Bob said he couldn’t remember the specifics of the conversation when pressed by the government.
“He had told me that he had touched some of the girls, like, when they were sleeping, like, on the breast, like, over their clothes. They didn’t wake up,” Jim Bob said in court.
Josh Duggar is the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 children. (Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
He later said he could not provide specific wording that was used. “I mean, he didn’t use that – I don’t remember exactly the wording that he used. I can’t remember exactly how he said it.”
Jim Bob added that he and his wife Michelle took immediate action in their home to prohibit it from happening again, but was not questioned about what specific actions they took.
After a second disclosure from Josh after the first incident, Jim Bob confirmed he went to the Arkansas State Police on the recommendation of an elder at his church, Jim Holt. Holt’s wife, Bobye Holt, also provided testimony at Monday’s hearing.
Prosecution also presented Jim Bob with a police report published in 2015 by In Touch Weekly magazine, causing the Duggar patriarch to get defensive.
“I can’t remember. I didn’t write the police report. I don’t remember what was stated. And I haven’t read that police report in many, many years,” Duggar said before he asked the judge if he was going to allow the document to be further examined.
“Mr. Duggar, what I am doing is controlling this examination. All right. She is showing you a document and identifying what the document is that you’re being shown. Then she’s going to ask you some questions about the document. If there’s a proper objection, someone in the courtroom will make it, but it won’t be you. You will answer the questions that are posed,” the judge responded.
Josh, 33, is facing two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty. (Washington County Police Department)
Jim Bob also fielded questions from the the defense team. When discussing his son’s confession, Jim Bob said he was glad Josh had come forward because otherwise the parents wouldn’t have known.
“Yes. We really felt like that they – that Josh – we were thankful that he came and told us what had happened, which that was a big step, because we didn’t catch him doing something, but he came and told us. But he had crossed some lines and he was right at that age of curiosity of, you know, right at 14 years old where your hormones start kicking in,” he said.
Josh Duggar speaks during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on Feb. 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Arguments are set to start on Wednesday after a nine-hour hearing on Tuesday resulted in the selection of the jury. The judge still has yet to rule if testimony regarding Josh’s molestation scandal will be allowed at trial.
Judge Timothy L. Brooks named the 28 potential or confirmed witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing, according to reports. Among them was Duggar’s sister Jill Dillard and brother Jedidiah. It is unclear if Duggar’s siblings will be called by the defense or prosecution, People reports. Jim Bob was not on the list of potential witnesses.
Josh’s wife Anna recently gave birth to their seventh child. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)
If convicted on all counts, Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count.