Supreme Court rejects appeal from ex-reality star Josh Duggar

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Josh Duggar, a former reality television star convicted of downloading child sexual abuse images.

Duggar was on the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting" with his large family before his 2021 conviction.

The court did not elaborate on the denial, as is typical.

Federal authorities investigated after police in Little Rock, Arkansas, found child sexual abuse material was being shared by a computer traced to him. Investigators testified that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded in 2019 onto a computer at a car dealership Duggar owned. He was sentenced to 12 and one-half years in prison.

Lower courts have upheld his conviction, rejecting Duggar’s argument that his attorneys should have been able to ask about the prior sex-offense conviction of a former employee of the dealership who had used the same computer. Duggar’s attorneys did not ask the former employee to testify after the judge ruled they could not mention the prior conviction.

TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 following allegations that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter years earlier. Authorities began investigating after receiving a tip from a family friend but concluded that the statute of limitations on any possible charges had expired.

Duggar’s parents said after the allegations resurfaced in 2015 that he had confessed to the fondling and apologized privately. Duggar then apologized publicly for unspecified behavior and resigned as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.

Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press