Attorneys representing Josh Duggar are seeking to have the child pornography charges against him dismissed.
The former reality TV star was hit with two charges of downloading and possessing illicit pornography in April but now Duggar's legal team has asked for the dismissal of the charges as well as to have evidence in the case suppressed, according to motions filed Friday and obtained by USA Today.
According to the legal documents, prosecutors failed to preserve evidence that could potentially help exonerate Duggar. The motions further state that Duggar's cellphone was taken away before he could call his lawyer by investigators who then questioned him without the lawyer present.
"This Court should dismiss this case based on the Government’s failure to preserve potentially exculpatory evidence," Duggar's lawyers argued in one filing. "At a minimum, this Court should hold an evidentiary hearing to determine what can be determined based on the searches performed and to explore the possibility of alternative remedies."
Duggar, who starred in "19 Kids and Counting," was arrested and charged in April. Prosecutors at the time said he had been in possession of child pornography, some of which reportedly depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12.
He has pleaded not guilty and was released in May under the condition that he stay under confinement at the home of family friends who agreed to be his custodian. He has also been banned from using the internet and is wearing an electric monitor. Additionally, he may only see his kids provided his wife is present.
Duggar's trial was scheduled to commence in July but was postponed until November. The pre-trial conference will now take place on Nov. 18, and the trial on Nov. 30, Yahoo! Entertainment reported, citing documents filed in federal court in Arkansas in June. The decision was made to give Josh's legal team "reasonable time necessary for effective preparation."
The June court filing came the same day that TLC announced it would be canceling "Counting On," a show featuring members of the Duggar family, but not Josh, after 11 seasons. The network said it felt it was "important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately."
Duggar and his family starred on TLC’s "19 Kids and Counting" for several years, but the show was pulled from the network in 2015 after accusations emerged that he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. He was never charged but admitted he had acted "inexcusably."
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