A federal jury today convicted an Arkansas man of receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Joshua James Duggar, 33, of Springdale, repeatedly downloaded and viewed images and videos depicting child sexual abuse, including images of prepubescent children and depictions of sadistic abuse. Duggar, a former reality TV personality who appeared with her family on the TLC series “19 Kids and Counting,” installed a password-protected partition on the hard drive of her office computer in her parking lot. opportunity in Springdale to avoid porn detection software. on the device. He then accessed the partition to download child sexual exploitation material from the Internet several times over the course of three days in May 2019. The password for the partition was the same one he used to d other personal and family accounts. Duggar downloaded the material using the dark web and online file-sharing software, viewed it, then deleted it from his computer.
“Today’s verdict sends a message that we will track down and prosecute those who upload and view child sexual abuse material, no matter how long they take to conceal their conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Department of Justice. Division. “I am grateful for the efforts of the prosecution team and our law enforcement partners who helped to ensure that the accused would be held accountable for his crimes. I hope today’s sentencing Today will serve as a reminder of the department’s unwavering commitment to bringing to justice those who ruthlessly contribute to the online sexual exploitation of young children.
“More than 7% of convicted cases in 2020 in the Western District of Arkansas were child pornography and sexual abuse cases,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes for Western Arkansas. “Our office is focused on utilizing all necessary resources for the very important work of protecting children in Arkansas and elsewhere. This verdict sends the message that these cases are a top priority for our office. This verdict also demonstrates that no one is above the law. Regardless of wealth, social status or fame, our office will continue to seek out all individuals who seek to abuse and victimize children through the downloading, possession and sharing of child pornography.
“Thanks to the exceptional efforts of HSI Special Agents and our law enforcement partners, a child predator has been brought to justice,” said Special Agent in Charge Jack Staton of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Every time child exploitation images are shared, they re-victimize innocent and vulnerable children. The verdict demonstrates that no matter how famous or influential an individual is, he is not above the law. HSI officers make it a priority to protect children by investigating these offenders and making sure they pay for their incomprehensible actions.
Arkansas law enforcement detected Duggar’s activity during an undercover investigation involving the online file-sharing program, then searched his parking lot in November 2019 and seized Duggar’s desktop computer as well as other evidence. Significant evidence was found pointing to Duggar’s presence at the time of the violations, including photos Duggar took on his phone that geotagged at or near the parking lot. Duggar also sent several time-stamped text messages to various people stating that he was in the parking lot at the relevant times; messages were sent and iPhone photos were created, sometimes within minutes of the child sexual exploitation material being downloaded or viewed on the desktop. Additionally, he was the only paid employee in the field at those times.
Duggar was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography. His sentencing date has not yet been set. Receiving child pornography is punishable by five to 20 years’ imprisonment. Possession of child pornography depicting prepubescent children is also punishable by up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
HSI in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Little Rock Police Department and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) High Tech Investigative Unit investigated the affair.
Attorney General William G. Clayman of CEOS and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Roberts and Carly Marshall of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to address the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the CEO, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children through the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about the Safe Childhood Project, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.