Unraveling Josh Duggar's Arrest on Federal Charges
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‘19 Kids and Counting’ Star and Conservative Activist Josh Duggar Has Been Arrested on Unspecified Federal Allegations

Josh Duggar is seen in a Washington County, Arkansas jail mugshot.

Josh Duggar, a former conservative activist and star of the television show “19 Kids and Counting,” was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service in Arkansas on Thursday.  That’s according to online records.

The 6’0″ tall, 33-year-old, 238-pound reality TV star was booked into the Washington County Jail in Fayetteville, Ark., at 1:14 p.m.  Duggar is listed in the records only as being “on hold for other department.”  The “other department” is listed as the federal government. No bond amount is listed.

According to Fox News, federal agents “assisted” the local sheriff’s office with the apprehension for an unnamed second federal agency. The Washington County Sheriff’s office said that the Duggar arrest is “not our case.” It is not uncommon for federal inmates to be housed in local facilities outside major jurisdictions.

Details are scarce. There is currently no crime listed on Duggar’s jail entry. Duggar’s name did not appear on U.S. Bureau of Prison’s database by press time.

Duggar is scheduled to be arraigned at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 30, in U.S. Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas, a local TV newsroom reported. No public federal court docket bearing Duggar’s name was available as of Thursday evening in that district. No relevant news release had been issued by the district’s United States Attorney’s Office.

Speculation online ran rampant as the mugshot for the onetime reality television star — and ex-lobbyist for the anti-gay Family Research Council — quickly spread across social media networks.

In the spring of 2015, Duggar famously apologized amid allegations that he molested four of his sisters and babysitter.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” Duggar said in a statement to People magazine in May 2015 which did not directly admit to any specific acts of wrongdoing. “I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation.”

At least five girls’ breasts and genitals were the subject of Duggar’s touching, often while they slept, USA Today reported that year. The newspaper attributed the accusation to police records which contained statements by Josh Duggar’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, who in turn said he was relating to the police what his son, Josh, told him.

“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling,” Josh Duggar said at the time. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”

The incident was reported Jim Bob Duggar, who said he witnessed his son leaving a young girl’s bedroom late at night in 2006. Josh Duggar replied publicly after the original incident report was unearthed by In Touch Weekly. He was never charged with a crime in connection with the incidents.

Since that time, other legal troubles swirled around Josh Duggar’s orbit.

In 2019, the car dealership where Duggar worked was raided by federal agents, but Homeland Security Investigations spokesperson Bryan Cox declined to comment on whether Duggar himself was implicated in that probe. No charges were filed in connection with that raid.

Duggar’s company was found in contempt of court in a real-estate dispute late last year.

It is unclear whether Thursday’s arrest is related to any of these episodes or whether it involves an entirely new accusation or accusations.

[image via a Washington County, Arkansas jail mugshot]

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