josh duggar's defense team claims photos taken of a scar on his hand during his arrest were illegally taken—prosecution fights back

Duggar Trial Testimony: A Duggar Family Friend Reveals That Josh Duggar Admitted to Molesting 4 Girls Before He Was a Teen Himself

On Monday, the judge presiding over Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial listened to testimony that would help him decide if Duggar’s previous acts of molestation should be used as evidence during his trial. One of the testimonies came from an old Duggar family friend.

According to the testimony, on March 30, 2003, Josh Duggar had just celebrated his 15th birthday. He also was ready to make a dark confession.

As People reports, Josh revealed that for the last three years he had secretly been molesting four younger girls. According to the testimony, Josh had opened up about his actions three separate times; once in 2002, in 2003 while talking to his parents and their best friend, Jim and Bobye Holt, and again in 2005 in another conversation with the Holts.

duggar trial testimony: a duggar family friend reveals that josh duggar admitted to molesting 4 girls before he was a teen himself
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According to Bobye Holt’s testimony, at the time she learned about Josh’s actions her oldest daughter was being courted by Josh. They had hoped they would marry one day.

A Duggar Family Friend Reveals That Josh Duggar Admitted to Molesting 4 Girls Before He Was a Teen Himself

However, on March 30, 2003, Josh and their daughter ended their relationship and Bobye and Jim Holt traveled to the Duggar’s home to learn about “what Josh had done.” Bobye then choked up when she described what it was like when Josh admitted he had touched four underage girls.

“[Josh] explained that Jane Doe four was sitting on his lap during Bible time and he touched her inappropriately,” she said. “He said it happened that day. On that date, he told us that he touched her vaginal area.” 

It wasn’t until later that Bobye would come to understand that Josh touched the victim under her clothing. “When she was sitting on his lap he put his hand under her pantaloons and under her panties,” said Bobye before taking a moment to gather herself.

In a second instance, Josh told Bobye “that he went to [one of the girls] as she was sleeping and got up under her blanket to start touching her and she woke up and hit him.” According to Bobye, the girl did tell Josh’s parents, Josh “told me she snitched on him,” Bobye recalled, as People reports.

duggar trial testimony: a duggar family friend reveals that josh duggar admitted to molesting 4 girls before he was a teen himself
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Josh continued to admit that she wasn’t his only victim and that he had touched the breasts and genitals of three other girls as well. One of those victims went on to tell Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and Josh allegedly confessed. “From when he told me … it started at [age] 12 until March 30, 2003.”

Bobye went on to admit that she tried to tell Jim Bob and Michelle about their son’s behavior but they told her “they didn’t want to hear it. People began to be aware.” While the defense attempted to discredit her testimony because she didn’t keep any documentation of her conversations with Josh Duggar, Bobye pushed back, “I know what he told me. I’m confessing now.”

However, it wasn’t until 10 years later in 2015 that the public learned of his actions when a police report describing the molestation was unsealed. Now, Josh Duggar’s defense team is asking the judge to only focus on what happened in May of 2019, when images showing child pornogrpahy were found on Josh’s work computer.

Jim Bob Duggar also testified on Monday but avoided going into detail like Bobye. He also openly took issue with the prosecution as they brought up the unsealed 2006 police record which In Style published in 2015. 

After being handed a copy of the police report, which had the In Style watermark on it, Jim Bob actually questioned the judge, People reported

“I’m not gonna allow it. Are you gonna allow for that?” Jim Bob asked the judge with his hands raised as the judge reminded him, “If there is [an] objection to be made, someone will make it but it won’t be you.”

“For you guys to use a tabloid to bring it back up is very unprofessional,” Jim Bob added now turning his attention back to the prosecution. “Mr. Duggar, I recognize this is perhaps a very unfair position that you’re placed in and I appreciate that,” the judge told Jim Bob, but “this is not a debate.”

“This was something for a young man to come forward,” Jim Bob said while calling it a “juvenile record” and a “sealed case,” People reported. Jim Bob went on to describe Josh’s alleged abhorrent behavior as “inappropriate touching” of girls’ breasts,” and told the prosecution time and time again that he didn’t remember, “It’s been like 18, 19 years ago. … a long time ago.”

Jim Bob also admitted to knowing about the touching in 2002. “We were shocked this had happened,” Jim Bob said, “but we were thankful he came on his own and told us.”

Nonetheless, despite saying they took action, Jim Bob also admitted to knowing the behavior had continued. “[Josh] had crossed some line right at that age of curiosity, at 14, your hormones are kicking in.”

“We tried to handle things in-house,” he said. “It was a very difficult time in our family’s life.” 

A member of his legal team, Justin Gelfand added that Duggar’s conversation with Jim and Bobye Holt should be protected by the religious privilege between clergy and parishioners, adding that “this is the epitome of those conversations.” However, Judge Timothy L. Brooks argued where that privilege should begin and end especially in the context of mandatory reporting laws about child abuse.

Nonetheless, as People reported, Gelfand did admit that the testimony heard on Monday did “largely agree” that Josh violated the girls who were all minors at the time. But, he also pointed out that the prosecution was only relying on one witness “to prove Josh had digitally penetrated one of the girls’ genitals.”

The prosecution described the testimony as “damning,” further explaining that it was “as close to a formal admission of guilt in a courtroom setting as you can get,” William Clayman said.

Judge Brooks has yet to make a decision. The judge requested more information from both sides by November 30 as he is looking to come to a conclusion on this matter before the trial begins.

People further reported that Anna Duggar, Josh’s wife and the mother of his seven children, was present for the hearing. Jury selection for the trial has begun.

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