November 29, 2022

M-Dudes

Your Partner in The Digital Era

Josh Duggar’s work computer had software that bypassed porn monitoring service, court hears

Duggar spent seven days in jail after his April 29 arrest before being fitted with an ankle monitor and bailed into home detention

Josh Duggar had hi-tech software installed on his work computer that would prevent his wife from being alerted if he looked at porn, a court heard today.

Self-confessed pornography addict Josh and his wife Anna Duggar in 2013 subscribed to a service named Covenant Eyes which filters and monitors adult internet use.

If he looked at ‘objectionable material’ the program would send a report to Anna, who was her husband’s designated ‘accountability partner,’ his child porn trial heard.  

But Duggar had installed a Linux partition, a sophisticated piece of software that effectively creates a second separate workspace, installed on his computer. 

It’s behind that partition – that could only be accessed by the password intel1988, the same password Duggar used for his internet banking – that federal agents found Duggar’s stash of child porn, prosecutors have argued this week.

Covenant Eyes’ vice president of technology, Jeff Wofford, told a federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Thursday that clients typically used the service for ‘controlling temptation and access to pornography.’

‘His [Duggar’s] report sensitivity was set to mature teen. It’s fairly common, many users use this one,’ Wofford told jurors. 

Josh Duggar, pictured with his wife Anna, was seen arriving at trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Thursday where a court heard that the reality star's computer had software installed that allowed users to look at porn discreetly

Josh Duggar, pictured with his wife Anna, was seen arriving at trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Thursday where a court heard that the reality star’s computer had software installed that allowed users to look at porn discreetly 

Duggar's wife has supported him every day of his trial so far, despite the shocking charges against him

Duggar’s wife has supported him every day of his trial so far, despite the shocking charges against him

The couple, pictured with six of their seven young children, subscribed to a service in 2013 called Covenant Eyes that monitors adult internet use and would report 'objectionable material' to wife Anna

The couple, pictured with six of their seven young children, subscribed to a service in 2013 called Covenant Eyes that monitors adult internet use and would report ‘objectionable material’ to wife Anna

The mature teen designation would ‘certainly not want to permit any pornography access,’ he added.

Wofford said Covenant Eyes could further detect if a client was using Tor Browser or peer-to-peer file sharing, which the trial has heard are networks that child porn perverts often use to share vile images.

However, he said that, in the case of Duggar’s computer, it could not, because the HP had something installed the Linux partition.

‘What would Covenant Eyes catch from the Linux side?’ asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts.

‘Nothing,’ replied Wofford, stating that his firm’s software would have only worked with the Windows operating system on the regular side of Duggar’s computer.

Roberts asked the witness if a Linux partition could therefore be used to ‘circumnavigate’ Covenant Eyes, whose marketing slogan is ‘Quit Porn. Live your best life.’ 

Wofford confirmed that it could.

Famous for appearing in TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, Duggar was charged in April with two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted.

Investigators traced child porn images to the IP address to Duggar's now-defunct used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, and seized his office HP desktop and iPhone in April

Investigators traced child porn images to the IP address to Duggar’s now-defunct used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, and seized his office HP desktop and iPhone in April 

Duggar (pictured after his release from jail in May) allegedly asked federal agents without knowing anything about the nature of the probe: 'Has someone downloaded child pornography?'

Duggar (pictured after his release from jail in May) allegedly asked federal agents without knowing anything about the nature of the probe: ‘Has someone downloaded child pornography?’

Josh and his wife Anna are pictured with six of their kids: Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, Mason and Maryella together. Anna recently gave birth to their seventh child

Josh and his wife Anna are pictured with six of their kids: Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, Mason and Maryella together. Anna recently gave birth to their seventh child

Prosecutors say Duggar – who has pleaded not guilty – downloaded images and video of girls as young as seven being ‘abused, violated and exploited’.

The sickening cache is said to have included files names such as ‘Daisy’s Destruction’, ‘Playtoy Sweetie’ and ‘Pedo Mom’.

This week’s trial has heard how the fallen TV star used a ‘peer-to-peer’ program called BitTorrent in which users search and download files from others while simultaneously making their own files available for sharing.

In May 2019 Detective Amber Kalmer of the Little Rock Police Department used a specialist police program called Torrential Downpour as part of an undercover online investigation to unmask perverts.

She searched for material officers had previously identified as containing child abuse and made several ‘digital handshakes’ with an IP address in northwest Arkansas.

Kalmer was able to access video footage of girls aged seven and nine being raped by an adult male as well as a cache of 65 images of a young girl of seven or eight being abused and placed in a dog kennel.

Several jurors looked away in disgust as snippets of the sick material was discreetly shown to them on monitors.

The court heard Kalmer tipped off federal investigators who traced the IP address to Duggar’s used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, and seized his office HP desktop and iPhone.

Some members of Duggar's family members have distanced themselves from him since his arrest, however, his sister Joy-Anna Duggar was seen at the trial with husband Austin Forsyth Thursday

Some members of Duggar’s family members have distanced themselves from him since his arrest, however, his sister Joy-Anna Duggar was seen at the trial with husband Austin Forsyth Thursday

Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth with husband Austin Forsyth at Thursday's proceedings

Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth with husband Austin Forsyth at Thursday’s proceedings

Austin Forsyth, husband of Joy-Anna Duggar,  takes a break from court at the beginning of Josh Duggar's trial on Wednesday

Joy-Anna Duggar and husband Austin

Forsyth also showed up to court Wednesday (left) where some of the members of the Duggar clan sat beside Josh’s wife Anna on a bench reserved for family members of the accused

Justin Duggar, Josh's 19-year-old brother, leaves court for lunch after Thursday's proceedings at the trial in Fayetteville

Justin Duggar, Josh’s 19-year-old brother, leaves court for lunch after Thursday’s proceedings at the trial in Fayetteville

After volunteering to speak with federal agents during the ensuing raid and without knowing anything about the nature of the probe, Duggar allegedly asked them: ‘Has someone downloaded child pornography?’

He was also taped telling FBI Special Agents Gerald Faulkner and Howard Aycock: ‘I’m not denying guilt. I don’t want to say if I’m guilty or not,’ the court heard.

The father-of-seven’s lawyers have argued, however, that multiple people and employees could have used the HP computer and that federal agents didn’t investigate them properly or seize their phones.

Defense attorney Justin Gelfand further insisted that Duggar was a ‘Mac guy’ who was home-schooled and lacked the sophisticated IT skills to install complicated programs on a Windows PC.

Cross-examining Faulkner on Thursday morning, Gelfand suggested that Duggar – a highly religious man – had been referring to ‘inappropriate material’ in general rather than child porn when he said he didn’t want to discuss his guilt.

The court also heard from a former employee of Duggar’s named Matthew Waller who said he was the only person working at the car lot with Duggar from January to April of 2019.

He also said he was ‘vaguely familiar’ with the password intel1988, prompting a brief but furious exchange with Roberts who accused him of hiding information from him because he had never recalled that information when quizzed by prosecutors and federal agents.

Jill and Derick

Judge Timothy L. Brooks named the 28 potential or confirmed witnesses on Tuesday, including Duggar's sister Jill Dillard. Jill's husband Derick (pictured) was in the courtroom observing Wednesday

A federal judge named the 28 potential or confirmed witnesses on Tuesday, including Duggar’s sister Jill (left).  Jill’s husband Derick (pictured) was in the courtroom observing Wednesday

Two members of the Duggar brood - Jill and Jed (pictured) - were included on the witness list Tuesday, but it was not revealed whether they will be called by either the prosecution or defense

Two members of the Duggar brood – Jill and Jed (pictured) – were included on the witness list Tuesday, but it was not revealed whether they will be called by either the prosecution or defense

Four of Josh's sisters, Jessa, Jinger, Jill, and Jana Duggar in 2014

Four of Josh’s sisters, Jessa, Jinger, Jill, and Jana Duggar in 2014

‘The defense told you information that you otherwise didn’t remember,’ he put to Waller, who sheepishly agreed, stumbling over his words.

He was also forced to admit that he had been at the Duggar’s property on a recent occasion when federal agents had arrived. Waller was the person who came out to ask them to leave, Roberts told jurors.

Duggar is the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s nine daughters and ten sons featured on 19 Kids and Counting, which documented the devout Baptist family’s life in Tontitown, Arkansas.

TLC pulled the long-running reality series after seven years in 2015 over revelations from a historic 2006 police report that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter.

Duggar’s parents said he confessed to the fondling and apologized. He also apologized for his pornography addiction and for cheating on Anna, who has attended court every day of the trial and was sat next to Derick Dillard, the husband of Josh’s sister Jill, and other assorted Duggar relations in the public gallery on Thursday.

Duggar’s defense suffered a blow on Wednesday after Judge Timothy L. Brooks ruled his trial could hear evidence about the molestation scandal.

Witnesses could include Bobye Holt, a ‘long time’ church friend of the Duggars and Jill Duggar who came forward in the media as one of his victims.

Wednesday: Josh Duggar and wife Anna arrived for day two of his child porn trial at federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas where they heard the prosecutor describe how he used his worktop computer to download a sickening trove of child porn

Wednesday: Josh Duggar and wife Anna arrived for day two of his child porn trial at federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas where they heard the prosecutor describe how he used his worktop computer to download a sickening trove of child porn

Tuesday: Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and jury selection is due to start today

Tuesday: Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 on each count if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and jury selection is due to start today

Letting this man be around kids: Anna is reportedly 'going to stick by him no matter what' - even as he set to go on trial on two child pornography charges

Letting this man be around kids: Anna is reportedly ‘going to stick by him no matter what’ – even as he set to go on trial on two child pornography charges 

Anna Duggar announced the arrival of her and husband Josh's seventh child on Instagram last week revealing Madyson Lily was born on October 23 at 2:39 pm

 Anna Duggar announced the arrival of her and husband Josh’s seventh child on Instagram last week revealing Madyson Lily was born on October 23 at 2:39 pm

Holt has already told an evidentiary hearing held prior to the trial that Josh admitted to her in 2003 that he had been touching the girls – referred to as Jane does 1 through 4 – over and under their clothes for years.

She also told the court that two years later Duggar further confessed to ‘digitally penetrating’ Jane Doe 4 while she sat on his lap reading bible stories.

Defense lawyers tried to bar Holt from repeating her testimony at trial on the basis of ‘clergy privilege’, arguing that Holt and her husband were church leaders and the confession came during prayer and ‘priestly consolation and guidance’.

However Holt insisted she was not a church elder and that the church had nothing to do with her discussions with Duggar, who had been going on chaperoned dates with her daughter at the time of his first confession.

Judge Brooks ruled in the prosecution’s favor, noting that the youngsters who appeared in Duggar’s alleged trove of child porn were roughly the same age as the victims of his ‘hands-on child molestation offenses’.

‘The Court finds the Government’s evidence is probative of Defendant’s propensity to commit the child pornography offenses with which he is charged,’ Brooks wrote.

‘The child pornography victims in this case are approximately the same ages as the victims of Defendant’s hands-on child-molestation offenses. Accordingly, the prior act evidence is probative of Defendant’s sexual interest in underage children and his propensity for exploiting young girls.’

Duggar patriarch Jim Bob was also subpoenaed to give evidence at Monday’s pre-trial hearing but he insisted he could barely remember anything about the abuse and was ditched as a prosecution witness.

Judge Brooks took a dim view of Jim Bob’s conduct in the witness box, writing in a footnote: ‘The court rejects this testimony as self-serving, contradictory and lacking in credibility.’

TLC announced in 2015 that it 'will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On' and said it's 'important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately'

TLC announced in 2015 that it ‘will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On’ and said it’s ‘important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately’

Jim Bob's (pictured with wife Michelle) possible appearance as a trial witness comes during his run as a Republican for a seat in the Arkansas State Senate

Jim Bob’s (pictured with wife Michelle) possible appearance as a trial witness comes during his run as a Republican for a seat in the Arkansas State Senate

Jurors will potentially, however, hear from two of Duggar siblings, his 20-year-old brother Jed, and apparent abuse victim Jill, 30.

Jill spoke out in her brother’s defense after a police report detailing his historic molestation admissions was made public in 2015, saying the story had been ‘warped’ and distorted by the media.

‘I see it as a re-victimization,’ she said. ‘I see it as a thousand times worse. Because this is something that was already dealt with.’

More recently however Jill has become estranged from Josh and the rest of the Duggars, revealing earlier this year that she has not visited her parents’ home for several years in order to ‘prioritize mental health’.

It’s yet to be revealed whether she or Jed, who appears to enjoy a far closer relationship with his accused elder brother, will be giving evidence on behalf the prosecution or the defense.