On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Duggar, 33, will be released to designated third party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber, described in court as "close friends" of the Duggar family

By Ally Mauch and Katie Campione
May 05, 2021 10:54 PM
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Josh Duggar is set to be released from prison Thursday as he faces charges for receiving and possessing child pornography.

On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Duggar, 33, will be released to designated third party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber, described in court as "close friends" of the Duggar family.

As Duggar's custodians, the Rebers will monitor his activities to make sure he stays in compliance with court orders while his case is pending. They are required by law to report if Duggar violates any court orders.

Earlier in the hearing, a federal probation officer, Diem Nguyen, was called as a witness and recommended to the court that Duggar not be released.

During his testimony, Nguyen said that Maria had expressed concerns to the probation office about Duggar's release into their home because her husband works full-time and there are several hours per day she would be alone with Duggar.

josh duggar
Josh Duggar
| Credit: Danny Johnston/AP/Shutterstock

"Mrs. Reber was concerned regarding being left alone with Josh, because he was a male and she was a female," Nguyen said, adding that "she wasn't sure how she felt about being alone with him for long durations of time."

Maria also told Nguyen that she and her husband did not know Duggar well, but they were close with his parents — Jim Bob and Michelle — who asked them to serve as his custodians.

"She and her husband felt that they should help Mr. Duggar's parents and Mr. Duggar," he said during his testimony.

josh duggar
Josh Duggar
| Credit: Kris Connor/Getty

Maria added that she was "familiar with" but "did not know the details of" the charges against Duggar, Nguyen said.

The probation officer also said the Rebers sometimes have minor children over for piano lessons with their adult daughter and that both Lacount and Maria owned firearms but not a firearm safe.

RELATED VIDEO: Jinger Duggar Recalls the Moment Brother Josh's Past Molestation Scandal Was Made Public in 2015

"The minors that come to the home cause the probation office some concern, as well as the pistols," Nguyen said.

In her own testimony, however, Maria said they could relocate the piano lessons and remove the firearms should Duggar reside in their home. Lacount later added that the couple and their adult daughter would ensure that Duggar has no access to their phones or computers.

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Duggar was arrested last week on one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He pled not guilty the following day in court.

On Tuesday, Duggar requested that the court "release him on bail subject to a combination of conditions of release that will reasonably assure his appearance at trial and the safety of the community or any other person," according to a bond motion obtained by PEOPLE.

josh duggar
Credit: Anna Duggar/instagram

During Duggar's arraignment last week, it was ruled that he would not be allowed to live with minors if released on bail, but he requested in the motion that he be allowed to return home to his family.

On Wednesday, the judge noted that she "cannot in good conscience" release Duggar to his pregnant wife Anna and their six children — Maryella Hope, 17 months, Mason Garrett, 3½, Meredith Grace, 5½, Marcus Anthony, 7½, Michael James, 9½, and Mackynzie Renée, 11.

However, he has been granted "unlimited contact" with his children, so long as Anna is present. Duggar may not see any other minor child, including his nieces and nephews.

"Don't make me regret this decision," the judge advised Duggar before adjourning.

Attorneys for Duggar did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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