Court rules on multiple motions ahead of Josh Duggar child pornography trial

Crime

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On Wednesday, Judge Timothy L. Brooks ruled on a host of motions filed by both sides in the upcoming Josh Duggar child pornography trial.

A pretrial hearing will be held in the Western District Court of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division, at 9:00 a.m. November 18.

In the November 17 court document, Judge Brooks ruled on seven different motions filed earlier this month by the defense and the prosecution.

The first ruling regarded the admissibility of a statement Duggar made on Facebook about his pornography addiction. Judge Brooks denied the prosecution’s motion to allow the statement as evidence, stating that the “Defendant’s 2015 public statement that he developed an addiction to adult pornography is irrelevant to the case.”

Another prosecution motion to admit different prior statements about adultery and porn addiction made by Duggar was also denied.

The Judge noted that if Duggar “takes the stand and testifies that he did not view adult pornography or was not addicted to pornography, or if he otherwise contradicts any statement he made in the social media post in 2015, the Government may seek leave to introduce the statement to impeach his credibility.”

The next ruling pertained to a prosecution filing to “bar Defendant from suggesting to the jury that someone else might have committed these crimes.” The government’s motion noted three specific individuals they felt could not have committed the alleged crimes on the dates and times specified in the indictment.

Judge Brooks ruled that the “Defendant is entitled to create reasonable doubt in the jury’s minds by pointing the finger at others who may have possibly committed the crimes,” and denied the prosecution’s prior motion.

The court also made a ruling on sequestering witnesses, effectively both partially granting and denying an earlier motion. The portion granted states that “any witness who has testified…is prohibited from discussing the substance of his or her own testimony with any witness who has not yet testified.”

Judge Brooks noted that the ruling “does not limit counsel from conferring with their own witnesses and preparing them to testify.”

Lastly, Judge Brooks granted a defense motion to exclude evidence related to Duggar’s refusal to answer certain questions during the execution of a search warrant, stating that disclosing to the jury that the Defendant invoked the 5th Amendment “is both irrelevant to the issues in this matter…and more prejudicial than probative.”

Judge Brooks instructed the prosecution to request a sidebar and make its argument outside the presence of a jury “if the need arises” to introduce those statements during cross-examination or rebuttal.

Duggar’s jury trial is scheduled to begin on November 30 at the Fayetteville District Court. Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.

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