Josh Duggar (left) will stand trial in his child pornography case on Tuesday. A judge has yet to rule whether Jim Bob Duggar (right) will have to testify. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jim Bob Duggar testified in an evidentiary hearing on Monday, one day before son Josh Duggar's child pornography trial is set to begin. Josh, the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children, is charged with receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. He pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution forced Jim Bob to take the stand in Arkansas and answer questions about Josh's past molestation scandal. In 2015, Josh admitted to touching five girls when he was a teen. Some of the victims included his sisters.
According to People, Jim Bob, 56, repeatedly claimed he didn't remember details of Josh's admissions. However, he recalled when his son, now 33, told him about the "inappropriate touching" of minors.
"We were shocked this had happened but we were thankful he came on his own and told us," Jim Bob told the court, later adding, "He had told me that he had touched some of the girls when they were sleeping on their breasts … they didn't wake up."
Jim Bob, who is running for a seat in the Arkansas Senate, reportedly took issue that the 2006 police report was unearthed by tabloid In Touch years later.
"This was something for a young man to come forward," Jim Bob declared, calling it a "juvenile record" and a "sealed case."
The Duggars were starring on TLC's 19 Kids and Counting when Josh's past behavior was made public. The reality show was canceled amid the controversy. Josh issued an apology for "wrongdoing."
Josh's defense team moved to exclude the molestation scandal from the upcoming trial. The prosecution argues it should be allowed to help establish a pattern of behavior. Duggar family friend Bobye Holt also testified about the molestation scandal at Monday's hearing. The judge has yet to make a ruling if both witnesses will testify before the jury.
Josh faces 20 years in prison for each count, so 40 years in total, if convicted as charged. The trial begins one month after he and wife, Anna Duggar, welcomed their seventh child together. All of their kids are ages 12 and under. Anna has remained by his side throughout multiple scandals, including when he admitted to being unfaithful.
Jury selection begins on Tuesday.