As the first week of the Josh Duggar trial came to a close, jurors heard from computer experts who testified that the one-time reality TV star downloaded child abuse materials on his work computer at a used car dealership in Arkansas.
The experts also said they found a program on the computer that allowed a user to bypass the business’s internet history tracking system.
The 33-year-old has previously pleaded not guilty.
Computer Experts Testify at Josh Duggar Trial
According to ABC News, jurors on Thursday heard expert witness testimony from computer specialists who said that Josh Duggar’s work computer had a second, secret Linux operating system installed.
Through this method, they said, the computer operated as two machines — one as a forward-facing, business computer, and the other as a secret store for receiving and hosting child abuse material.
On the secret side of Duggar’s computer, Department of Justice forensic analyst James Fottrell told jurors he found disturbing and sexually explicit materials featuring the torture and abuse of children as young as 3 months old, according to the New York Post.
“It’s one of the most offensive videos that I’m familiar with throughout my whole career,” Fottrell said.
Federal prosecutors said in May, just after the charges were filed, that they found 65 offending images and videos on Duggar’s computer. They’ve also claimed that “detailed logs” of the device’s activity shows the 33-year-old receiving and downloading the files over a period of months.
Defendant Says He Was Framed
Lawyers for Josh Duggar argued during opening statements on Tuesday that the one-time reality TV star was framed, and that another, unnamed individual used his computer to download the offending material.
“If you like a mystery, then this is the case for you,” said defense attorney Justin Gilfand. “This is a classic, old fashioned whodunit,” he added, noting that no such images were found on Duggar’s personal computer or cell phone.
But the computer experts who testified Thursday were unconvinced. Fottrell said the evidence was “not fitting the pattern of someone connecting remotely,” or accessing the harddrive from a second device. “That’s not happening,” he added.
Moreover, the DOJ agent said, cell phone data showed that Josh Duggar was present at the car dealership in every instance that the illegal materials were downloaded on the computer.
Other Duggars to Testify
Thursday marked the third full day of the trial, which is only expected to last for five to six days. Fottrell’s disturbing testimony culminated in prosecutors giving jurors a complete timeline of Duggar’s whereabouts, cross-referenced with the dates and times when each illegal file was downloaded on his computer.
Duggar’s defense team has faced several setbacks since the trial kicked off on Tuesday. Most recently, Judge Timothy L. Brooks ruled Wednesday that prosecutors could use the 2015 molestation allegations against Duggar to make their case.
In a list of witnesses submitted to the court Tuesday and first reported by The Sun, Josh Duggar’s estranged siblings Jill and Jed were set to testify at some point during the trial. It’s not clear whether they were invited by their brother’s attorneys or by federal prosecutors, however.
In a statement issued at the time of Josh’s arrest, his parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar called the charges “very serious.”
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” they said in April. “It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner.”