For months now, we’ve been reporting on Josh Duggar’s efforts to appeal his conviction on child pornography charges.
There have frightening been times when it looked as Josh and his legal team might actually succeed in creating enough reasonable doubt to have his conviction overturned.
With opening oral arguments just weeks away, observers are understandably growing anxious about the possibility that this obviously guilty predator might go free.
So perhaps we can all breathe a little easier today amid reports that Josh’s legal team has suffered a major setback, and now looks as though his appeal might never got to trial.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors filed notice of a recent ruling that they say establishes a precedent that gives them “additional authority” in this case.
According to a new report from the KTLO radio station in northwest, the prosecution filed a Citation of Supplemental Authority regarding a recent case, U.S. vs. Treanton, that it said “bears on defendant-appellant Joshua Duggar’s contention that he was in custody during the search of his used-car lot.”
The defense has argued that comments Josh made to federal agents while his office was being searched should be stricken from the record.
Josh’s lawyers allege that the district court “erred by denying Duggar’s motion to suppress statements after a federal agent physically stopped him from contacting his attorney and subsequently interrogated him outside the presence of his counsel.”
The prosecution’s latest submission argues, however, that “a panel of this Court rejected a similar contention arising under significantly more restrictive circumstances than those at issue in Duggar’s case.”
The court allegedly made the ruling “because ‘a reasonable person in Treanton’s position would have believed that he was free to terminate the interview if he wished.’”
The prosecution argues that Josh would have been similarly aware that he was not under arrest.
“Duggar’s Fifth Amendment rights are not implicated here because he was not in custody during his conversation with investigators,” the prosecution wrote in a previous filing.
This could constitute a major setback for Josh, coming, as it does, just weeks before opening arguments at his first appeal hearing.
That hearing is still scheduled for February 16 in Kansas City.
In addition to arguing that he made statements to investigators under duress, Josh is claiming that he was framed for his crimes by a family friend named Caleb Williams.
Josh says it was Williams who downloaded the child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) on his office computer.
Williams says he can prove that he was in a different state on the day that the CSAM were downloaded.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as new information becomes available.