LIVE UPDATES From Josh Duggar’s Child Sex Abuse Trial: Day Five


Josh and Anna leaving the courthouse together on Thursday night…


Josh Duggar is back in the Fayetteville, Arkansas, courtroom this week, fighting charges of possessing and receiving child sex abuse materials (CSAM).

(The Ashley has been in Arkansas covering the trial– click here and here to read coverage from the first few days of court. Please note, though, The Ashley is not in court today.)

The John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building where Josh’s trial is being held.

Trigger warning: Some information below may discuss child sex abuse and other disturbing details.

  • Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, is in the courtroom wearing a bright red dress, according to The Sun. (Click here to view photos.) 
  • Derick Dillard, husband of Jill Duggar Dillard, is in attendance. 
  • Joy Duggar Forsyth and Austin Forsyth are also back in the courtroom. 
  • Jessa Duggar Seewald appeared in court for the first time since the trial began. She sat in the front row with Anna, Joy and Austin and Derick. She left before lunch.
  • Jason Duggar, Josh’s 21-year-old brother, also made an appearance in court for the first time. James Duggar has also attended the trial for the first time.


  • According to The Sun, the prosecutor called Clint Branham as Monday’s first witness. Clint—a technical cyber security worker— knew Josh and stated that they often talked about technology when they were together. Clint said that, in his opinion, Josh is “more advanced” than the normal person when it comes to technology and would be able to install computer programs himself. He also stated that they had a discussion about the Covanent Eyes software, and how to ensure users didn’t circumvent it. (As The Ashley reported last week, Josh and Anna had installed the accountability software on Josh’s computer in 2013, but he was able to successfully navigate it in order to watch p0rn, etc.)
  • Clint said this conversation happened in 2010 and Duggar friend Jim Holt was present for it. (Josh helped Jim with several political campaigns from 2000-2010.) 


  • Jim Holt was also called as a witness and testified that Josh asked him in 2010 how to install a Linux partition on a computer, according to KWNA News. He later clarified during the defense’s cross examination that, during the conversation, it was Clint who originally brought up the Linux partition discussion.


  • Bobye Holt— the wife of Jim and a former close friend to the whole Duggar family–took the stand next for the prosecution. (As The Ashley previously reported, the judge ruled that Bobye could testify regarding Josh’s teen molestation of his sisters and another unnamed victim; Bobye was at the courthouse Friday, however, due to time, she did not take the stand.) Bobye– whose oldest daughter was once in a courtship with Josh— testified that she and her husband Jim Holt were called to the Duggar house on March 30, 2003, where Josh “confessed to molesting a five-year-old girl” and “touching her inappropriately,” according to The Sun
  • Bobye testified that Josh confessed to touching the five-year-old on her chest and genitals (both outside and inside her clothing) during Bible time as she sat on his lap. She said Josh also confessed to touching three others girls inappropriately while they were sleeping. 
  • According to KNWA‘s in-court reporter, Josh looked down while Bobye was testifying and was “red-faced and glistening with sweat.” 
  • “We have been friends with the Duggars for 36 years. Our children were best friends,” Bobye said, adding that her daughter had been in a courtship with Josh before he met his wife Anna. “Our oldest was Josh’s girlfriend in November of 2002. It was formal. They were 14.”
Bobye Holt and Michelle Duggar (and a friend) in 2014…


  • Bobye stated that she learned more about the incident with the five-year-old in 2005, when Josh came to visit her family in Little Rock, Arkansas. Josh shared graphic details with Bobye, which she described during the pre-trial hearing. (She claimed that Jim was asleep at the time Josh confessed these details to her.) That’s when she found out that the molestation of the five-year-old was under the clothing and that the girl’s pantaloons had been removed by Josh. 
  • During cross-exam by the defense, Bobye declined to speak when the defense contacted her. When the prosecutor questioned her about that statement later, Bobye said she declined to speak with the defense because she did not have permission to (though she didn’t state who she needed permission from).
  • Bobye also stated that someone (though she didn’t name who) offered her money to speak.
  • According to The Sun, when Bobye was asked how she was able to recall conversations from 20 years ago with such detail, Bobye replied that you don’t forget something like that. (This could have been some subtle shade thrown at Jim Bob, who, at last Monday’s pre-trial hearing, claimed he could not recall most of the details of Josh’s previous molestation episodes.)
  • Bobye also stressed that it greatly impacted their families. (The Holts are no longer close with the Duggars, by the way.)
  • Bobye was the final witness for the prosecution. 


  • An interesting tidbit from The Sun‘s courtroom reporter: after Bobye’s testimony, Josh went over to Joy, who was sitting in the front row next to Austin and spoke to her during a chamber discussion. The reporter stated that Joy nodded as they spoke, and Austin had his arm around Joy the whole time. (Joy, as well as Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar Vuolo, came out as one of Josh’s four sibling victims in a lawsuit filed against Washington County and others in 2017.)
  • The defense is calling witnesses, which means if Jill and/or Jedidiah Duggar testify, it will be for the defense at this point. 


  • The first witness called by the defense is Michele Bush, an Arizona-based digital forensics expert. According to The Sun, Michelle stated that she has personally examined Josh’s MacBook laptop, the HP desktop computer from his car lot and several thumbdrives and SD cards taken from Josh’s office during the HSI raid in November 2019. She testified that she was in Washington D.C. for five days, examining Josh’s HP desktop work computer.
  • She testified that she saw no evidence that child sex abuse materials had ever been on Josh’s laptop, and stated that if it had been on there at some point, she would have seen evidence that it had been there and deleted. 


  • Michelle Bush discussed a file that was found on Josh’s laptop entitled “Quiz Mommy Amy King Duggar.” (Amy is Josh’s cousin, by the way, and appeared frequently on 19 Kids and Counting.) 
  • Amy is aware of the file being on Josh’s computer. When asked about it on Instagram over the weekend, Amy said the fact that her cousin had that file is “weird and creepy AF [as f**k].”  “I’d like to know the same thing,” Amy replied when someone asked why Josh had the file on his computer. “I’d like to know the same information!? What the crap is that? What a weird document title! “I have more than a few questions about it. Kinda freaked out. And not real sure what to think at the moment.” 


  • During Michele Bush’s testimony, the defense lawyer once again brought up the routor that was inside Josh’s office at Wholesale Motorcars. (Last week, it was discussed in detail, with the defense stating that the routor should have been seized during the raid, because it could have contained valuable forensic info.) 

  • She testified that router was “extremely important” to this case because routers “contain logs and store both live data and memory,” according to The Sun. (This is in contrast to the testimony of the prosecution witness James Fontrell’s testimony from last week. He stated that the router contains very little data and was not important enough to seize.) 
  • Michele Bush stated that the router hosted the IP address, therefore would be able show what devices were connected to it and when they connected. (This seems to be playing into the defense’s implication that someone could have downloaded the CSA materials remotely.) 
  • Michele stated that the Linux partition on Josh’s computer where the CSA materials were found was installed on May 13, 2019, just one day before the first CSA files were downloaded onto the computer.
  • Michele confirmed after  being questioned by one of Josh’s attorneys that remote access was possible, if certain apps on the Linux partition, as well as  command codes were used. She later claimed that no one had to be behind the computer when two files containing CSA materials were downloaded because they were streamed over a network, according to The Sun. The next day– May 15, 2019— three more CSA torrent movie files were streamed in the morning, and five more streamed later that night, including the video of the sexual abuse and torture of the infant. One more CSA movie was streamed on May 16. Three minutes after that download, the video was deleted and added to the computer’s trash.
  • She also testified that one zip file that was downloaded contained 65 CSA images; however she stated that files were not opened, according to evidence.
  • The routor was again brought up, with Michele stating that, had she been able to examine the routor from Josh’s office (which, again, was not seized), she would have been able to determine if remote access occurred. She later stated that, despite what previous witness James Fontrell stated, she does not think someone needs to be physically present to boot up the Linux. She stated that she has booted up a computer remotely and has been able to successfully log into a partition.
  • Michele stated that Josh used his iPhone to view adult p0rn, but no CSA materials were found on it or his laptop, with no evidence of any CSA materials ever being on those devices.


  • Court has adjourned, with Michele set to be cross-examined by the prosecution on Tuesday.
  • Josh and Anna left the courtroom hand-in-hand, as they have every other night of the trial. 

RELATED STORY: SCENE OF THE CRIME: Josh Duggar’s Shuttered Car Lot Sits Abandoned During His Trial; Office In Shambles After Government Raid (Exclusive Photos!) 

(Photos: Instagram; The Ashley’s Reality Roundup)  

24 Responses

  1. Anna will just sit back and support this predator happily. It’s disgusting. Someone please take their kids away…neither of them deserve those babies. And for the love of god DO NOT give them to Michelle and Jim bob.

  2. Is it just me, or does it seem like the prosecution rested early? It just seems as though they could have called more witnesses.

    And I wonder what Josh could have possibly said to Joy??

    I hope he burns!!!!

  3. I’m actually really nervous that once again he’s going to get away with everything. And be back around his poor kids bc lord knows no one is going to protect them.

  4. Not a very smart move by the defense
    ,if it was them, putting his siblings on the stand, especially Jill. The prosecution is going to blow everything wide open.

  5. Surely Jill will not be testifying for the defense? I’m English so my knowledge of American law is fairly limited, but I understand that she is there by subpoena and has no choice which side she serves as witness for?
    But I remember this point being raised about…I think it was Wade Robson, who testified for the defense at Michael Jackson’s trial, only to change his story years later: defense lawyers will bring people who they think will be reliable to their cause. ie, with Jill being a documented victim of Josh’s abuse, why would his lawyers call her to speak for his defense? None of the Duggars are very sharp, and certainly not able to maintain a lie under intense interrogation. Why, of 18 siblings, would they want Jill – the one real rebel of the family who has actively spoken out against her family and upbringing for several years now – to come to his rescue?
    I hope she has her chance to speak against him.
    But if anyone can enlighten me on this issue, please do.

  6. If Jill was supeonaed by the defense, she has to testify. Hopefully under cross examination by the prosecution, she can share what happened to her and watch him go down.

    1. That just means that the defense thinks they can get her to say things that would be helpful to Josh. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to testify for him or that she supports him.

      1. I know but why would the defense think the eldest of his abuse victims, the one that is outspoken about all the crap she’s been through, would say something that could benefit Josh? That’s what I don’t understand

      2. She may have been a witness for prosecution and they didn’t call her because they feel they already have enough evidence for the CSAM conviction. Bobeye’s testimony may have been enough to speak to his prior crimes.

    2. Or it could mean that she will not be called to testify. Being on the witness list just means that you could be called, not necessarily that you will.

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