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Sex offender inmate has to testify in Josh Duggar child pornography case

Robert Franklin, 35, a sex offender in prison, must appear in federal court to testify in Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial

A sex offender inmate will be dragged in federal court to testify at Josh Duggar’s child pornography trial, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.

Robert Franklin, 35, was committed to the Washington County Detention Center on drug charges just three days before Duggar was arrested and taken to the same facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

It’s not clear exactly how the two men are related, but Duggar spent seven nights behind bars there before being released under house arrest ahead of his child pornography possession trial, which began this week.

DailyMail.com can reveal that earlier this month, state attorneys sought and obtained permission to transport US marshals Franklin to court to testify between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.

His name was one of more than a dozen witnesses read to the jury by Judge Timothy L. Brooks on Tuesday, though he stressed that not every name on the list would necessarily appear.

Josh Duggar, pictured with his wife Anna, was seen Tuesday in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas for his first day of trial for child pornography.

Josh Duggar, pictured with his wife Anna, was seen Tuesday in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas for his first day of trial for child pornography.

Duggar, 33, was arrested and admitted to the Washington County Detention Center three days after Franklin was jailed in the same facility on drug charges

Duggar faces two charges for downloading and possessing child pornography

Duggar, 33, who is charged with two charges of downloading and possessing child pornography, was admitted to the Washington County Detention Center in April, three days after Franklin was jailed in the same facility on drug charges.

Franklin was jailed on April 26 on several charges, including possession of meth or cocaine with intent to supply, failure to stop, and driving with a suspended license.

According to court records viewed by DailyMail.com, he has a criminal record dating back to 2004 when he was jailed for three days and ordered to register as a sex offender for sexually abusing a minor.

He has since been convicted four times for failing to register as a sex offender.

Judge Brooks is still deciding whether jurors will be allowed to hear evidence of how Duggar, 33, abused five girls, including four of his sisters, when he was in his teens.

One of his victims, Jill Duggar Dillard, 30, is listed as another potential witness, along with their 20-year-old brother Jed Duggar, although it has not been revealed whether they testify for the prosecution or the defense.

Jill spoke out in defense of Josh in 2015 after In Touch Weekly published a police report from nine years earlier documenting his history of molestation, saying the story had been “distorted” and “distorted” by the media.

DailyMail.com can reveal that earlier this month, state attorneys sought and obtained permission to transport US marshals Franklin to court to testify between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.

DailyMail.com can reveal that earlier this month, state attorneys sought and obtained permission to transport US marshals Franklin to court to testify between Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.

It's unclear how the two men are linked, but Duggar spent seven nights behind bars in prison before being released from house arrest in May (pictured)

It’s unclear how the two men are linked, but Duggar spent seven nights behind bars in prison before being released from house arrest in May (pictured)

“I see it as victimization again,” she said. “I see it as a thousand times worse. Because this is something that has already been covered.”

More recently, however, Jill has become estranged from the Duggars, and earlier this year revealed that she’d been avoiding her parents’ house for the past few years to “prioritise her mental health.”

If Judge Brooks allows the evidence of sexual assault to come before the jury, they’ll likely also hear from Bobye Holt, an “old” church friend of the Duggars whose daughter chaperoned with Josh in their teens.

During a pre-trial witness hearing, Holt admitted that in 2003, Josh admitted to touching girls — named Jane Does 1 through 4 — over and under their clothes for years.

She also told the court that in 2005 Duggar further confessed to “digitally penetrating Jane Doe” 4 while sitting on his lap reading Bible stories.

Defense attorneys want Holt not to repeat her testimony at trial on the basis of “spiritual privilege,” arguing that she and her husband Jim were church leaders and the confession came during prayer and “priestly comfort and guidance.”

Holt insisted, however, that she was not an elder of the Church and that the Church had nothing to do with her conversations with Duggar.

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

The Duggar family in 2014. Their show, 19 Kids & Counting, ran from 2008 to 2015

The Duggar family in 2014. Their show, 19 Kids & Counting, ran from 2008 to 2015

“She’s just an old friend of the defendant’s family and the mother of the girl he was dating when he harassed Jane Does 1 through 4,” the prosecutors added in a subsequent lawsuit.

And while their lives are governed by their religion, the defendant’s conversations with Ms. Holt about these assaults related to his relationship with her daughter are no more privileged than a defendant’s conversations about his case with the knowledgeable, un- lawyer wife – that is, they are not privileged at all.’

Duggar patriarch Jim Bob was also subpoenaed to testify in Monday’s pre-trial hearing, but he insisted he barely remembered the abuse and prosecutors called his evidence in their post-court briefing “illegible.” and ‘less credible and much less’ detailed.’ He was not on the list of potential witnesses revealed Tuesday, which likely indicates that Jim Bob will not be called to testify at his eldest son’s trial.

Duggar, famous for his appearance on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, was indicted in April on two charges 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.

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