A federal judge has granted Josh Duggar release as he awaits trial, following his arrest and indictment last Friday on child pornography charges. Duggar, who is pleading not guilty, will stay with family friends until his July 6 court date.

Magistrate Judge Christy Comstock has prohibited him from using Internet-accessible devices during that time. Duggar also cannot interact with any minors besides his children, with whom he has supervised visits.

As the four-hour Zoom hearing drew to a close, Comstock addressed Duggar. “I have full confidence in the United States Marshals Service to find you if you decide not to comply with these conditions of release, so don’t make me regret this decision,” she said.

Duggar’s trial stands as the latest development in long series of scandals that began with the cancelation of the TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting. The latest charges come after it was revealed that he had molested four of his younger sisters and a babysitter.

He has also confessed and apologized for porn addiction, as well as cheating on his wife.

Federal authorities said they began investigating him after they traced the download of child pornography to a computer belonging to Duggar in May 2019. They revealed that almost 200 pornographic images depicting children, even toddlers, were deleted from the device.

Agent Gerald Faulkner said that the images on the files were in the “top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.”

Federal prosecutors argued that Duggar’s history of molestation marks him as a danger to the community. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall told the court that he has exhibited “a history dating back 20 years that shows a sexual attraction to children and the deviousness of his activity.”

Duggar’s attorneys countered that their client is not a flight risk because he is a public figure. They noted that Duggar has known about the investigation since November
but has made no effort to evade authorities.

Justin Gelfland, one of Duggar’s attorneys, argued, “He has not left the jurisdiction, he has not left the country, he has not done anything at all other than continue to live his life in this judicial district where he has deep roots.”

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