Josh Duggar seeks acquittal or new trial after child pornography convictions

Josh Duggar(Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

(CP) Josh Duggar's lead defense attorney, Justin Gelfand, has filed a motion to request that his client be acquitted of two child pornography convictions or be granted a new trial.

The former reality TV star's defense team filed a motion over 75 pages long on Wednesday asking for an acquittal under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29, according to the Arkansas-based KNWA-TV.

If the acquittal is denied, then the motion requests a new trial.

Investigators said images of child pornography were found in a computer at a car dealership owned by the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose family was featured on the reality television shows "19 Kids & Counting" and "Counting On." The Duggars are a large ultra-conservative Christian family that live in Arkansas.

Josh Duggar, a 33-year-old father of seven, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defense claimed someone else was responsible for the illegal files on the computer, a claim investigators found to be unlikely. In December, he was found guilty by a federal jury of receiving and possessing child pornography and could face up to 20 years in prison. He has not yet been sentenced.

Gelfand maintained that the evidence presented was not enough to convict the former "19 Kids and Counting" reality star.

"The evidence elicited at trial does not support a conviction on either count — even in the light most favorable to the Government," the motion claims. "The Government failed to adduce any evidence that Duggar 'knew that the visual depictions were of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.'"

The request explained that the video files used as evidence in the initial trial gave the jury "no evidence that Duggar personally viewed any specific portion of any of the files allegedly found on the computer."

"The Court's broad discretion empowers it to grant relief based not only on the sufficiency of the evidence at trial but on any other circumstance that might render the trial 'essentially unfair,' including trial errors," the statement continued.

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