We’re still three weeks away from the start of Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial, but already, it looks as though Josh’s chances of beating the case are almost impossibly slim.
Each new pre-trial development has worked against Josh, and as his legal team makes its final preparations, a guilty verdict and a lengthy prison sentence seem like virtual certainties.
The lack of suspense might help explain why certain members of Josh’s family have already started going about their business again.
As we reported earlier this month, Jim Bob Duggar announced a campaign for Arkansas State Senate, and he’s not the only one who’s making moves in the run-up to Josh’s trial.
Back in 2015, long before Josh was arrested on child pornography charges, the world was shocked to learn that the disgraced former reality star had molested five young girls while he was still in his teens.
Four of the victims were his sisters, and the fifth was a babysitter who had been hired by his parents.
News of the attacks was made public thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by In Touch.
The tabloid was sued by the four sisters who were victimized by Josh — Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar.
That suit was thrown out of court, but a different one targeting the police and sheriff’s departments who released the records has been allowed to continue.
And while the list of defendants named in the case has been dramatically reduced, the Duggar sisters learned this week that their suit will be permitted to continue.
Yes, according to a new report from the northwest Arkansas Fox affiliate, a federal judge has decided not to dismiss the sisters’s suit against the City of Springdale and Washington County.
Lawyers for the sisters allege that the release of Josh’s criminal records was “hastily and improperly” done.
Legal experts say the odds are against Jill, Jessa, et al., as the departments were complying with a FOIA request, and suing law enforcement agencies is always a dicey proposition.
Still, this week’s decision is being called a major legal victory for the sisters, as it means that their suit — which was filed back in 2017 — still has a fighting chance.
When the In Touch report was first published, Duggar fans were shocked to learn that not only had Josh sexually assaulted his sisters, his parents had assisted him in avoiding prosecution for his crimes.
In response to these allegations TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting, but the Duggars were back on the air less than a year later — this time without Josh — in the spinoff series Counting On.
On November 30, Josh will stand trial in connection with his April arrest on child pornography charges.
The arrest was made on the strength of evidence collected by the Deparment of Homeland Security during a 2019 raid on a car dealership owned by Josh.
If convicted, Josh faces 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors have requested permission to use Josh’s molestation of his sisters against him during his trial, but a judge has not yet ruled on the matter.
Josh has already passed up the opportunity to work out a plea deal with prosecutors.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.