Josh Duggar‘s alleged confession to molesting four girls in his past can be used in the current trial of his child pornography case, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday, AP reports. U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks made the ruling when rejecting a motion by Josh’s attorneys to prevent the evidence from being heard as the trial began. The 33-year-old 19 Kids and Counting star, who was arrested in Apr., is being charged with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.
The new ruling comes as prosecutors reportedly want the jury to hear testimony from a family friend of the Duggars who testified in a pre-trial hearing on Monday and said Josh told her in 2003 that he molested four girls. After the testimony, Josh’s attorneys argued that Josh had never been charged for anything relating to a supposed confession and didn’t think the allegations had any relevance in the child pornography trial.
“The child pornography victims in this case are approximately the same ages as the victims of defendant’s hands-on child-molestation offenses,” Brooks’ order said, according to AP. “Accordingly, the prior act evidence is probative of defendant’s sexual interest in underage children and his propensity for exploiting young girls.”
During the opening statements in the trial, Josh’s attorneys reportedly claimed that the child pornography that was found on his computer was downloaded by someone else. “If you like a mystery, then this is the case for you,” Justin Gilfand, who is representing Josh, told jurors in his opening statement, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. “This is a classic, old fashioned whodunit.”
The newspaper also reported that despite Gilfand’s claim, federal prosecutors detailed logs showing the activity on Duggar’s computer, which was minute-by-minute and reportedly alternated between sending personal messages, downloading child porn and saving pictures of notes.
After Josh’s arrest, a federal Homeland Security agent testified that pornographic images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded in May 2019 by a computer at a car dealership that Josh owned. The reality star pleaded not guilty in the case but faces up to 20 years in prison and fines adding up to $250,000 on each count if he’s convicted.