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Josh Duggar trial: Judge will rule Tuesday on allowing testimony on Duggar’s previous allegations

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA / KFTA) – Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial begins this week. On Monday, the prosecution and defense called witnesses and debated whether to allow the allegation that Duggar sexually abused four female minors as evidence in the trial.

The prosecution wanted to use these charges in the grand jury trial, however, the defense alleges that Josh told the adults in his life about what he had done under the guise of protection. religious secret, and therefore it cannot be used in court.

The prosecutor first called Bobby Holt. She describes herself and her husband, former State Senator Jim Holt, as best friends with the Duggar family. She said Josh Duggar and his daughter are the same age and had a girlfriend relationship in March 2003. Both are 15 years old at the time and Bobye said they hope to get married one day.

Bobby was emotional several times standing in the witness stand as she tried to explain what had happened.

Bobye said she and her husband were called to the Duggar household on March 30, 2003, because Josh’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, said they had some ending information to share with Holts. She said they went there and talked in the room with Jim Bob, Josh, and Michelle Duggar, Josh’s mother.

Bobbye said that’s when Josh told them he had touched four female minors. He told them that same day, Jane Doe 4 was sitting on his lap during Bible class when he touched her breasts and vaginal area on her clothes.

He also told them that for several years he had touched Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2, and Jane Doe 3 in the same area of ​​their clothing while they slept.

Court documents show all four minors are at least three years younger than Josh.

Prosecutors questioned Bobby about her role in the church. She said they are part of Grace Bible Church along with the Duggar family. She said she has never been a leader or elder in the church and that women cannot be elders.

Holt said women are not usually included in confidential conversations with church elders. She says that this conversation with the Duggars was one with parents, though she does recall some of the prayers involved. She insisted several times that this was not a church conversation.

Bobbye said she and her family were at their home in Little Rock in the early months of 2005 when they invited Josh to stay with them. Her husband was working in the legislative session at the time. Bobbye said she still has hope that Josh and her daughter can reconnect and get married one day, and that she wants Josh to be able to confide in them so they can help get him back on the right track.

She became emotional again as she recalled this follow-up conversation. She said Josh told her, when Jane Doe 4 was sitting on his lap during Bible class, he actually touched her panties and he put his finger inside her.

The defense asked Bobby a follow-up question. Bobbye asserts that in the early 2000s, the church was small and they often met at each other’s homes. She said that her husband, Jim, was an ordained Baptist minister and that he would mentor people in his role as chaplain.

She couldn’t remember if there were any rules of secrecy in place when she and her husband visited Duggar’s house in 2003. Bobbye said both she and her husband give Josh advice, and women don’t usually do it in church.

When the plaintiffs were given the opportunity to ask diversionary questions, Bobbye confirmed that prayer was part of their daily routine and not the only thing during a family meeting in 2003. She thought the confessions. Josh’s is from a moral place, not a religious one. one.

Jim Bob Duggar is next. He said that in 2002, Josh went to see him and Michelle about touching female minors while they were sleeping. He just remembered Josh telling them about touching their breasts through their clothes.

Jim Bob can’t recall anything about Josh touching their vaginal area, even after prosecutors showed him a Springdale Police report, where that was detailed. .

He said they were shocked, but glad Josh went to see them himself and that they took action to prevent it from happening again. Jim Bob said they pulled Josh out of the house in 2003 and they will call on the elders in the congregation for guidance and support.

At some point, Jim Bob seemed confused by the prosecutor’s interrogation. There are issues on which he will further deduce his answer beyond the questions the prosecution has asked. Judge Brooks took a moment to pause the interrogation as it moved to a hotter moment.

The judge told Jim Bob that this was a “difficult and unfair situation” he was in and that he simply needed to answer the questions posed.

The defense questioned Jim Bob next. He confirmed that Grace Fellowship Bible Church would accommodate people’s in-home services. He also said that the elder’s wife is the “spiritual leader” for the other women and children in the congregation.

Jim Bob said he’s grateful that Josh has come to them and that his son has crossed the line at an age where curiosity and hormones can take over. Josh was a teenager when he first told his parents what had happened. He said they consulted with the Holts and sought them out for religious guidance. He told the court that Josh was going to Holts’ house for work; he said they were a good team of trustees to his son.

He told the court he asked Holts to keep it a secret when Josh confessed to what he did, but couldn’t remember exactly what Josh said happened, including whether he touched the area. girls’ vaginas or not.

There is some confusion about who is considered a leader in the church. Duggar said the church has three main elders, including Jim Bob Duggar and Jim Holt, but stressed that all three of these men’s wives are considered part of the leadership and will be able to vote depending on the issue. or topic.

After Jim Bob left the stands, defense attorneys and prosecutors had one last chance to argue their side before the judge.

Prosecutors said both Bobby and Jim Bob testified that Josh sexually abused four girls in some capacity. The testimony also shows that the assault occurred several times over the years. They argued that there was no evidence that either party was lying. And when she looked at Bobby’s testimony, she vividly remembered what Josh said happened 18 years later.

The defense argues that Jim Bob’s testimony indicates that Holts’ consultation was for spiritual and religious purposes. And because Josh confessed to what happened to a group of church leaders, the speech was kept secret by the clergy.

Judge Timothy Brooks has some questions about this logic. It seemed to him that most of Duggar’s life was guided by religion, so does this mean that any conversation with an elder could be considered a privilege? If someone calls their best friend a church leader for prayer or spirituality, is that a privilege? Do church leaders still have an obligation to report something as serious as child molestation?

The defense argued that the situation was not routine, so it should be protected with privilege.

Finally, Judge Brooks needed more briefs on clerical confidentiality from attorneys and said he needed any final briefs by noon tomorrow.

Jury selection also begins tomorrow, but it could take two days for them to select all jurors. The trial is expected to begin on Wednesday or Thursday.

https://kfor.com/news/josh-duggar-trial-judge-to-rule-tuesday-on-allowing-testimony-about-duggars-prior-allegations/ Josh Duggar trial: Judge will rule Tuesday on allowing testimony on Duggar’s previous allegations

JACLYN DIAZ

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