Duggar lawyers claim agents intentionally misled federal judge in child pornography case
FAYETTEVILLE – Lawyers for Josh Duggar are redoubling their efforts to suppress the evidence in his child pornography case or dismiss the charges altogether.
Duggar, 33, of Springdale, is charged with two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks presented the case to a jury on November 30.
Duggar, best known for being a part of his family’s cable reality show, is accused of using the internet in May 2019 to download and own the material, some of which depicts sexual abuse of children under 12 , according to court documents.
If convicted, Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $ 250,000 on each count.
Duggar’s lawyers have filed several motions over the past two months to dismiss the case or suppress evidence. They filed a response to the government on Friday arguing, once again, that federal agents intentionally misled a trial judge in order to obtain a search warrant.
“Here, there was willful, reckless and / or grossly negligent conduct on the part of the law enforcement authorities in obtaining the warrant. Specifically, the deponents provided false and misleading statements to the magistrate and have omitted important facts – and they did so willfully, recklessly and, at a minimum, gross negligence, ”according to the court record.
Specifically, they maintain that officers were unable to “successfully” download files containing child pornography from Duggar’s computer, but told the judge they did.
Instead, an accurate statement would have been that the zip file contains 405 files but only 66 of those files would be present on a device using a company’s IP address, and after 17 hours and 169 attempts, only 13 of those files were uploaded, according to the file. “In this context, it is remarkable that a federal agent declares, under oath, that this file has been ‘successfully uploaded’.”
Further, lawyers for Duggar argue that the affidavit provided to the judge by officers for a warrant omitted important facts.
Specifically, the affidavit leaves out that the wanted used car dealership law enforcement was a business that addressed the general public regularly and had transient workers and employees, all of whom could have had unsecured Wi-Fi access at the dealership.
In another response, attorneys for Duggar said federal investigators never examined the phones of three people they contacted who had access to the concession.
“The amount of information on the cell phones of the three witnesses is not limited to helping Duggar establish that he was ‘not the only person with access to the lot'”, according to the court file. “The phones would establish a wealth of information relevant to his defense. While this is not an exhaustive list, the information from the phones would establish what these people are looking for on the Internet, if they have the technical capabilities. in any way (for example) setting up partitions on hard drives, using file sharing software, knowing the company’s Wi-Fi password, and the list goes on. “
The government says there was no exculpatory evidence on the phones it seized and searched, but the decision to return the phones to witnesses without creating any records of the searches and preserving underlying evidence robs Duggar of his constitutionally guaranteed access to evidence, according to the record.
Federal prosecutors said investigators examined these phones and there was no relevant evidence to find. And, further investigation showed that none of the three were present in Duggar’s parking lot when his computer was used to download child sexual abuse material, fatally undermining his claims.