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Josh Duggar Trial: Judge says jurors can hear past molestation evidence

The judge rejected a motion filed by Josh Duggar's attorneys that would have prevented evidence of past molestation allegations from being presented in court.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Click here for the latest update on the Josh Duggar trial. 

RELATED: Josh Duggar Trial: Defense questions Homeland Security agent

The child pornography trial has begun for former reality TV star Josh Duggar. 

Josh Duggar appeared in court in Fayetteville on Tuesday, Nov. 30. 

In April, the 33-year-old was charged with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.

According to the Associated Press, a federal Homeland Security agent testified in May that the pornographic images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, had been downloaded in May 2019 by a computer at a car dealership that Josh Duggar owned.  

Last week, a federal judge decided not to allow phones, laptops or recording devices into the courtroom during the trial. 

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison along with fines of up to $250,000 on each count. 

Dec. 1, 2021

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Judge Timothy Brooks rejected a motion filed by Josh Duggar's attorneys that would have prevented evidence of past molestation allegations from being presented in court.

Following opening statements this morning, the prosecution warned jurors they would see portions of what was found on a computer inside of Josh Duggar's car dealership. The prosecution showed portions of the images which depicted children as young as 7 years old. 

The defense then dug into how agents were able to track IP addresses that could locate the sharing of this type of material and how the operations worked. 

Josh Duggar's defense is claiming the images were not downloaded by him. 

The first day ended with the defense questioning the special agent who issued the search warrant to go inside of Josh Duggar's car dealership, where they confiscated two computers and his cellphone.

Nov. 30, 2021

Jury selection began Tuesday, Nov. 30 morning at the Washington County Courthouse.

Josh Duggar, seen holding the hand of his wife Anna, walked into court in Washington County on Tuesday for the first day of trial.

Although jury selection is underway, the judge has still not made a decision on whether or not family friend Bobeye Holt will testify against Josh.

The prosecution filed a supplemental brief on Tuesday describing the importance of Bobeye's testimony. In the brief, it details Josh Duggar's alleged confession to Holt of molesting four minors in 2003. 

According to the brief, Josh Duggar discussed this with Holt because at that time he was in a relationship with her daughter. The state says Holt describes this as a conversation between close family friends and was not related to anyone's role in the church they both attended.

Josh Duggar's attorneys submitted a supplemental briefing as well on Tuesday claiming that Holt's testimony falls under clergy privilege, also referred to as priest-penitent/religious privilege. This would shield certain communications from disclosure.

The brief states that Josh Duggar made these alleged statements to Holt with the expectation that they would be kept confidential.

According to the prosecution's brief, Josh Duggar failed to adduce any credible evidence that he actually received “priestly consolation and guidance” from Holt or that he expected her not to reveal what he said.

In these documents the judge is using to decide if Holt will testify, we have learned what the prosecution says Josh Duggar told her that day. 

The following details could be difficult for some to read.

According to the prosecution, on March 30, 2003, the Holts joined Josh Duggar and his parents in his parent’s bedroom, where he told Mrs. Holt that he had inappropriately touched the vagina of one of the victim's that day and had been touching the breasts and vaginal areas of three others, both over and under their clothes, for years.

The prosecution's brief states that Holt further testified that in early 2005, the defendant stayed with her and her husband in Little Rock because, as she explained, they "loved him and wanted to see if he could repair his relationship with their daughter." One evening after her husband fell asleep, Holt testified that Josh Duggar told her that he had "digitally penetrated" one of the victim's vaginas while she sat on his lap and he read her Bible stories. According to the document, this rape occurred on March 30, 2003, and is what prompted the Duggars to contact the Holts that day.

Jury selection from 52 potential jurors has been completed with 12 main jurors and four alternates. 

Potential witnesses include Jedidiah Duggar and Jill Duggar-Dillard, siblings to Josh Duggar. 

Nov. 29, 2021

Josh Duggar was in court Monday for an evidentiary hearing ahead of his child pornography trial. Jury selection is set for Tuesday, Nov. 30.

The judge called Monday's hearing after the prosecution presented two new witnesses to testify about a past molestation case involving Josh Duggar.

The judge asked for a subpoena to be issued for Josh's dad, Jim Bob Duggar, who's currently running for a state senate seat representing Washington County. A family friend named Bobye Holt is also facing a subpoena.

Prosecutors allege Josh Duggar may have confessed to Holt about a previous assault.

During Monday's hearing, the judge did not make a decision on if these two will have to testify during the trial. He did ask for a briefing from both sides on why they should or should not testify. The judge will revisit it before jury selection begins Tuesday.

5NEWS will have full coverage of the trial as it progresses.

RELATED: No phones, laptops allowed at Josh Duggar child porn trial

RELATED: Jim Bob Duggar could have to testify against his son during trial for child porn charges

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