After months of delay, Josh Duggar’s trial for child pornography begins today in Springdale, Arkansas.
While we have yet to receive a report on the first day of jury selection, a preliminary hearing held on Monday made it clear that prosecutors intended to delve into Josh’s salacious past in order to establish a model of predatory behavior.
Josh’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, spoke yesterday and claimed under oath that he remembers some details of the scandal that took place in 2015 when the world learned that Josh assaulted five young girls.
(Four of the victims were Josh’s sisters; the fifth was a babysitter hired by his parents.)
It is unclear whether Jim Bob will be called to testify again during the trial, or whether the defense was able to convince the judge that Josh’s past sex crimes have no bearing on the current allegations against him.
Already, Judge Timothy L. Brooks has ruled that any discussion of Josh’s past confession to porn addiction would not be allowed in court.
It’s possible that Judge Brooks is taking an equally grim look at other evidence from Josh’s past that might help shed light on his psyche, but which is not directly related to the more recent charges.
If, however, the judge decides that Josh’s history of depravity is relevant to the prosecution case, then the jury could be faced with an abundance of incriminating information.
And it’s possible that some of the evidence comes from the infamous Duggar Complex.
Yes, if you know anything about Jim Bob, you probably know that he is constantly watching his children to make sure that they do not engage in any “sinful” behavior.
(This is just one of the many reasons observers believe the former TV mogul was lying when he pleaded ignorance of Josh’s past predatory behavior.)
The Duggars filmed hundreds of hours of footage for their two TLC reality shows, and while it’s possible that scenes from 19 children and count Where Counting on could be used against Josh, the clips that aired were generally flattering to the family.
Still, it is possible that TLC will be subpoenaed and forced to provide excerpts from the shows.
Additionally, Duggar’s eagle-eyed critics recently observed that at the height of his family’s fame, Jim Bob shot quite a bit of his own footage.
Looking at recently remade screenshots from a Duggar Christmas special that first aired in 2014, Reddit users noticed that several security cameras could be seen in the background during the “holiday visit.” of Josh in the family home.
“Look at what’s on the wall in the background,” wrote one editor, according to The sun.
“A security camera inside the house. Hmmm why would they need this? another user asked.
“I think it’s a mixture of watching who comes into the house for security reasons and spying on the kids to keep them online,” said a third.
A fourth user observed that the cameras may have been installed by TLC in order to capture a bird’s eye view of life in the Duggar House.
“It’s possible that they were set up for the show and then left them there,” the person suggested.
Other commentators have noted, however, that the aerial views had never been featured on the show and that Jim Bob would likely not have consented to a 24-hour observation of an outdoor party.
So in all likelihood the cameras were installed by Jim Bob, and it’s possible that they are still in place.
The location of the equipment is strange, as security cameras are usually located near exits or outside houses to capture images of comings and goings.
We may never know why Jim Bob felt he needed cameras in his living room.
And we’ll probably never know what kind of footage he captured, either.
Jim Bob’s paranoia is a thing of the past and it seems unlikely that he stored any footage that could possibly be used against him or his family.
So, for the second time this week, fans are wondering what Jim Bob knows – and how much he will be forced to reveal in court.
When he spoke on Monday, the 56-year-old was combative and uncooperative.
Asked about the 2015 In touch report which revealed Josh’s molestation of five young girls, Jim Bob argued that the police had no right to release the information.
“It was something for a young man to come forward,” said Jim Bob, calling it a “juvenile case” and a “sealed deal.”
Yes, it looks like Jim Bob thinks Josh deserves credit for confessing to the police, even though he did so years after the assaults, and only after the pressure was exerted by affected adults.
According to police reports, Jim Bob and his wife Michelle Duggar brought Josh to the police in 2006 after a family church elder became concerned about several confessions Josh made, starting in 2003.
In court, Jim Bob confessed that Josh was taken to the police as a last resort after attempts to resolve the matter “internally” failed.
“Josh confessed everything to the Arkansas State Police,” Jim Bob said.
“We tried to manage things at home. It was a very difficult time in our family’s life.”
Witnesses say Jim Bob became hostile on several occasions during his testimony.
“For you, using a tabloid to keep him coming back is unprofessional at all,” he said.
“I’m not going to allow it, are you going to allow it?” Jim Bob pleaded with the judge after accusing prosecutors of using “tabloid information”.
“If there is [an] objection, someone will but it won’t be you, ”Judge Brooks replied.
Eventually, Jim Bob admitted that Josh confessed to sexually abusing his sisters.
“We were shocked that this happened, but we were grateful that he came on his own and told us,” he said.
“He told me he touched some of the girls when they were sleeping on their breasts, they didn’t wake up.”
It remains to be seen whether the judge will allow prosecutors to call Jim Bob to the stand before a jury and ask him a series of similar questions.
But I hope the DA’s office has no difficulty in building a case against Josh, even if they are prohibited from mentioning previous cases of predatory behavior.
We will have further updates on this developing situation as more information becomes available.
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