Former Reality Television Personality Sentenced to 151 Months in Federal Prison for Downloading Child Sexual Abuse Material

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FAYETTEVILLE – A Springdale man was sentenced today to 151 months in prison without the possibility of parole on one count of Receiving Material Depicting Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. The Honorable Judge Timothy L. Brooks presided over the sentencing hearing in the U.S. District Court in Fayetteville.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Joshua James Duggar, 34, of Springdale, repeatedly downloaded and viewed images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including images of prepubescent children and depictions of sadistic abuse. Duggar, a former reality television personality who appeared with his family on the TLC series 19 Kids and Counting, installed a password-protected partition on the hard drive of his desktop computer at his used car lot in Springdale to avoid pornography-detecting software on the device.  He then accessed the partition to download child sexual abuse material from the internet multiple times over the course of three days in May 2019. The password for the partition was the same one he used for other personal and family accounts.  Duggar downloaded the material using the dark web and online file-sharing software, viewed it, and then removed it from his computer.

Law enforcement in Arkansas detected Duggar’s activity during an undercover investigation involving the online file-sharing program, subsequently searched his car lot in November 2019, and seized Duggar’s desktop computer as well as other evidence. Significant evidence was found that pointed to Duggar’s presence at the times of the offenses, including pictures that Duggar took on his phone that geolocated at or near the car lot. Duggar also sent multiple timestamped text messages to various individuals that indicated he was at the car lot at the relevant times; the messages were sent, and the iPhone pictures were created, at times within minutes of when the child sexual abuse material was downloaded or displayed on the desktop computer. Additionally, he was the only paid employee on the lot at those times.

On December 9th, 2021, a federal jury in the Western District of Arkansas convicted Duggar of receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

Homeland Security Investigations Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, the Little Rock Police Department, and the High Technology Investigative Unit of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carly Marshall and Dustin Roberts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas and Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of CEOS prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Related court documents may be found on the Public Access to Electronic Records website @ www.pacer.gov.  Western District of Arkansas case number 5:21 CR 50014