Us Weekly confirmed on Wednesday, May 5, that the 33-year-old former 19 Kids and Counting star will be placed on home confinement at pastor Lacount Reber and his wife Maria Reber’s house. The couple, who were appointed Josh’s third-party custodians, were described in court as “close friends” of the Duggar family.
“She and her husband felt that they should help Mr. Duggar’s parents and Mr. Duggar,” federal probation officer Diem Nguyen told the court. “I believe that … based on Mr. Reber’s job occupation, the fact that he’s a pastor and volunteers [at] Gentle Ministries, I believe that they could be suitable third-party custodians. However, the minors that come to the home causes the Probation Office some concern, as well as the pistols that won’t be locked away in a safe and or removed from the home also causes the Probation Office concern.”
Maria, the mother of a 22-year-old daughter who teaches piano lessons, told the judge that they could remove the firearms and change the location of the music class when Josh moves in. She also told the judge that she “wasn’t fully” aware of Josh’s past, which includes molestation allegations when he was 14 and 15 years old.
“We want to be able to help … with God’s help,” Maria said. “I am looking at it as we are here of help for the family … to Josh and Anna, and we want to administer to them as best as we can. … My husband has made the decision and I’m here to support that decision. … My husband has a passion and love for ministry, and as a family, we have always ministered to others. Maybe not in this capacity, but as we go through life, you just never know what God puts in front of you in such a time as this.”
Lacount agreed, telling the prosecutor, “I’m agreeing to do what it takes to be a help to them. We help friends when they need help.”
Us confirmed on April 30 that Josh was arrested on child pornography charges. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. The news came days after Anna revealed the couple are expecting their seventh child. They are parents of Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
“I will tell you that your own children, and your siblings, children, and your minor brothers and sisters, they’re all part of the larger society that the court must consider in protecting from you,” Judge Christy Comstock told Josh on Wednesday. “I cannot in good conscience, send you home. … There are six minor children that live in your house. There are other minor children, in and out of their grandparents’ house on a regular basis.”
While Josh will be monitored via a GPS at the Reber home, he has unlimited access to his children as long as Anna is present. He is also permitted to go to church, work and legal and medical appointments.
Josh’s case is set to go to trial in July.
Reporting by Marjorie Hernandez