FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On the day that jury selection is set to begin in the Josh Duggar child pornography trial, his defense team filed a motion asking the court to rule that “any statements allegedly made to Bobye [Holt, by Duggar] are shielded from disclosure by the clergy privilege.”
Yesterday, Judge Timothy L. Brooks issued a deadline of noon on Tuesday for the submission of any final pretrial motions.
Holt spoke to the court in a pretrial evidentiary hearing on Monday, stating that she couldn’t remember if there were any confidentiality rules established when she and her husband went to the Duggar’s home in 2003. She added that she and her husband both gave advice to Duggar at the time and that women don’t typically do that in their church.
Holt said she was never a leader or elder in their church, Bible Grace Fellowship Church. She said that women typically aren’t included in confidential conversations with church elders and that the discussion with the Duggars at that time was one of parents talking with parents, even though she did remember some prayer being involved.
She stated multiple times that it was not a “church conversation.”
The motion addresses statements made by both Holt and Josh Duggar’s father, Jim Bob, in court Monday. The defense notes that “the testimony makes clear that Jim Bob and, by extension, Duggar—who was a child when he allegedly ‘confessed’—reasonably believed both Jim and Bobye were spiritual leaders of the church.”
The defense filing adds that even if Holt was not a church elder, it is “critical to note that the [clergy] privilege still applies if Duggar ‘reasonably believed’ that Bobye was a spiritual leader of the church.”
The judge is expected to rule on this motion and any others filed today, as well as earlier filings by both sides.