Last week, former reality star Josh Duggar was arrested by federal agents and held without bail.
A car dealership owned by Duggar was raided in 2019 by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, and it was initially rumored that the arrest had to do with Josh’s hiring practices.
We later learned, however, that situation was much more disturbing than that.
He had allegedly received and possessed lewd images of children under the age of 12.
If convicted, the 33-year-old father of six could face up to 20 years in prison.
This is a development that has resulted in intensified concerns for the children’s welfare.
Given the nature of the crime and Josh’s personal history, it is uncomfortable to consider.
The disgraced former reality star is being held without bail or bond at present.
Josh will remain in custody until his arraignment.
That hearing is scheduled for May 5.
At that time, a judge will either deny him bail or set an amount that will allow Duggar to be released pending his trial.
The trial is tentatively set to begin on July 7.
In the meantime, Josh has lawyered up in hopes of not spending the next 20 years behind bars.
His choice of attorney suggests he’s done some serious research.
And it appears that he is very, very frightened of being found guilty.
Josh went out of state for this one.
He ended up selecting a Missouri-based lawyer named Justin Gelfand of the Margulis Gelfand firm.
Josh has encountered numerous legal troubles over the past few years.
So it’s noteworthy that he did not hire an attorney whom he has worked with previously.
It seems that he selected Gelfand for two reasons:
1. He’s a former federal prosecutor, so he knows what sort of tactics Josh will be up against.
2. As Radar Online reports, Gelfand “has a long history of successfully defending men accused of sex crimes.”
Gelfand has already filed paperwork indicating that he will be representing Josh in the upcoming trial.
It’s unknown if the accused was able to come up with the legal fees himself.
This seems unlikely, as Josh and his family have been living in a windowless shack on his parents’ property.
Alternatively, it may be that patriarch Jim Bob footed the bill for his eldest son’s defense.
Another possibility is that Gelfand took the gig pro-bono.
An attorney might do so due to the high-profile nature of the case.
That seems unlikely, as Josh is not exactly a beloved figure — especially now.
(That said, sometimes the most reviled public figures generate the best publicity for unscrupulous attorneys)
Whatever the case, it seems that this scandal will mean the death of the Duggar media empire as we know it.
Many have prematurely predicted the destruction of the house that Jim Bob built.
And it’s true that the family’s cultishly loyal fan base has enabled them to survive numerous scandals in the past.
But this is the first time (that we’re aware of) that a member of the Duggar clan has been jailed on criminal charges.
That’s definitely a stain on their carefully crafted image.
And it’s not like Josh got locked up for a DUI, either.
One of the few things all Americans agree on is that sex crimes involving children are about as heinous a thing as a human being can be involved with.
Even if Josh manages to once again evade prosecution, it’s impossible to imagine his family reclaiming their place as TV’s most wholesome clan.
Will the backlash be enough to make TLC do the right thing? Only time will tell.