Jessa Duggar Attends Brother Josh's Child Porn Trial as Judge Denies Defense's Motion to Acquit

·3 min read

Josh Duggar's case picked up on Monday and his sister Jessa (Duggar) Seewald was in the courtroom for the continuation of his trial on knowing receipt and possession of child pornography.

The 29-year-old mom of four sat next to Josh's wife, Anna Duggar, during the fifth day of his trial and the women exchanged a brief side hug.

Josh, 33, has pleaded not guilty and vowed to "fight back in the courtroom."

After the prosecution rested their case Monday morning, Josh's attorney Justin Gelfand filed a motion for acquittal on both charges of receipt and possession, stating there was "insufficient evidence of known possession" and "insufficient evidence of actually knowing receipt by Mr. Duggar of child pornography."

Gelfand stated that James Fottrell, a top computer forensic analyst at the Department of Justice who examined Duggar's devices, provided insufficient evidence last Friday related to the cache file to establish knowing receipt or possession. Fottrell made his case for the prosecution during the trial's third and fourth days and outlined extensive time-and-place links between Josh and the downloading and viewing of child pornography at his work.

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Jessa Seewald, Josh Duggar
Jessa Seewald, Josh Duggar

Jessa Seewald/Instagram; Danny Johnston/AP/Shutterstock

"I believe that evidence sufficient to go to the jury has been heard," Assistant United States Attorney Carly Marshall said in response to Gelfand's claim and proceeded to run through Fottrell's forensic evidence.

Judge Timothy L. Brooks sided with the prosecution and said he found there was "well more than sufficient evidence." The judge agreed the evidence presented by the prosecution satisfied the conditions to move forward and stated that there was "a plethora of evidence here to suggest a reasonable jury from which they could find there was possession." The defense's motion to acquit was denied.

During a four-hour cross-examination last Friday, Fottrell said, "We have lots of good evidence." Despite indications that the computer had been cleaned of the child sexual abuse material — for example, no video files were recovered in full — he said cached data and thumbnails auto-created when files are downloaded and accessed showed that the illegal photos and videos had once existed.

It was "forensically challenging," he admitted. But not impossible.

RELATED: Prosecution's Key Expert Faces Defense in Josh Duggar Trial: 'We're Not on a Wild Goose Chase'

Josh Duggar Trial day 1
Josh Duggar Trial day 1

John Kushmaul A sketch of Josh Duggar's trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas

"Some offenders understand it's dangerous to possess the material of this nature so they download it, view it and then delete it," versus amassing a library, Fottrell said, adding that he had found full-sized originals of one lewd collection of images in a part of the hard drive that retains deleted files.

"We are doing the best we can," Fottrell explained.

In April, Josh was arrested on one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The 19 Kids and Counting alum pleaded not guilty the following day in court and was later released from jail to his designated third-party custodians, family friends Lacount and Maria Reber.