By now, you’ve almost certainly heard about the most appalling celebrity scandal in recent memory:
Former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar has been arrested on child pornography charges.
Having allegedly amassed a collection of hundreds of graphic photos and videos depicting children as young as 18 months old, Josh was apprehended late last month.
Despite the appalling nature of the allegations and Duggar’s long history of predatory behavior, Josh was released on bail on Wednesday.
His lawyers were able to convince the judge that Josh is not a flight risk due to his “recognizable” face and strong “ties to the community.”
He is scheduled to appear back in court on July 7 for the beginning of his trial.
The 33-year-old will not be permitted to live with his pregnant wife and six children in the interim, as the judge wisely decided that he should not be permitted to reside with children.
Instead, Josh will live with the Rebers, friends of his family’s whose children are already grown, and who were thus eligible to take Josh in.
Also factoring into the judge’s decision was the fact that the Rebers do not have WiFi and rely instead on a dial-up connection.
The was a fact that apparently eased concerns about Josh sending or receiving illicit materials as he awaits trial.
There’s really so much to unpack here.
Even a cursory glance at this bizarre situation is enough to leave you with two equally baffling questions:
1. Why Josh should be released at all?
2. How did he get away with his alleged misconduct for so long?
That first mystery might never be solved.
As for the second?
The latter question reveals a great deal about Josh’s obsession – as well as the lengths he went to in order to feed it.
We should note before we go any further that all claims about Duggar’s crimes and methods remain unproven at this point.
Information about how what exactly he did and how he got away with it remains at least partially speculative.
That said, we’ve reached a point in the investigation where the best forensic minds have weighed in on how Josh might have gotten away with his crimes.
Based on that, and what we know of his past, it’s rather unlikely that his methods differed from the ones described below.
Back in 2019, a car dealership owned by Josh was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security.
At the time, it was rumored that the raid had something to do with Josh’s employment practices.
It wasn’t until this week, however, that we learned the real reason for the investigation.
The agents had reason to believe that the IP address of Josh’s computer was connected to the exchange of graphic photos and videos of young children.
A thorough search of his hard drive revealed that those suspicions were correct.
Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Gerald Faulkner stated that the images discovered on Josh’s computer were “in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.”
Let that sink in for a moment.
According to People, Faulkner revealed that the photos “depicted child sex abuse involving children ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age.”
As you’re probably aware, this is not the first sex scandal involving Josh.
In 2015, it was revealed that while he was still in his teens, Duggar had molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters.
In the months that followed, Josh was accused of sexual assault by a former escort, and it was revealed that he had tried to cheat on his wife using the affair-facilitating website Ashley Madison.
In other words, he’s been under suspicion for quite some time, so it makes sense that he used his work computer for his (alleged) crimes.
What about his wife? What did she know?
Anna Duggar may have demonstrated some naivete in allowing Josh to continue in his depravity, but to her credit, she did take steps to try and monitor his activity.
Anna used the Covenant Eyes browser extension to keep track of Josh’s web activity.
He quickly figured out a way to circumvent it, but she tried.
According to a description from the minister who developed it, Covenant Eyes “periodically captures screenshots” and sends them to a third-party “ally” who intervenes if he finds that the user has been browsing inappropriate material.
It sounds like a good system, but it seems that Josh found a workaround.
According to Homeland Security, Josh was using a TOR browser to gain unrestricted access to the so-called “dark web.”
This enabled to sit at his computer in the office of the car dealership purchased by his father and enjoy the exploitation of literal babies.
Needless to say, human behavior doesn’t get much more nauseating than that.
And yet, insiders say that Anna continues to believe in Josh’s innocence.
She’s vowed to “stand by” him throughout his trial, and sources have indicated that the she believes an absurd conspiracy theory about how Josh was set up by the Biden administration.
It sounds as though there isn’t much she wouldn’t believe at this point.
As for what lies ahead for Josh, it seems he’ll spend the next two months – or longer – living with the Rebers.
This, despite the fact that his presence understandably makes the women in the household uncomfortable.
According to the Daily Mail, federal probation officer Diem Nguyen told the court that:
“Mrs. Reber was concerned about being left alone with Josh, because he was a male and she was a female.”
Reber said she felt uneasy about the idea of “being alone with him for long durations of time.”
But it seems that in the end, she Mrs. Reber decided to go along with her husband’s wishes.
And it’s that culture of men’s desires superseding women’s safety that allows monsters like Josh to operate.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.