Former reality star Josh Duggar sentenced to 12 years in prison in child porn case

Former reality star Josh Duggar sentenced to 12 years in prison in child porn case

Josh Duggar, the former reality star of 19 Kids and Counting who was last year found guilty of downloading and possessing child pornography, has been sentenced to over 12 years in prison.

Duggar, whose family was the subject of the TLC reality series, was arrested in April 2021 after police detectives in Little Rock, Arkansas traced child pornography files, at least 65 files including images of sexual abuse and toddlers, to a computer owned by Duggar, and found that he downloaded the images to a computer at his car dealership.

In December, Duggar was found guilty after a six-day trial, convicted of one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks sentenced Duggar to 151 months in prison, or about 12-and-a-half years. Prosecutors had pushed for the maximum 20 year sentence, citing a “deep-seated, pervasive and violent sexual interest in children,” while Duggar’s lawyers sought a five-year sentence.

According to People, one count was dropped on sentencing day, as the judge ruled that Duggar did not knowingly distribute the pornography.

According to AP, Duggar maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the ruling.

According to The Sun, the Judge Brooks told Duggar during the sentencing that he has done “some very bad things,” and called the case “among the most serious of cases,” citing one image of sexual abuse material he called “the sickest of the sickest.”

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – FEBRUARY 28: Josh Duggar speaks during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

The sentencing caps a scandalous downfall for Duggar, part of a family that achieved national fame as the subject of the TLC series 19 Kids and Counting, which ran from 2008 to 2015. The Duggars maintained an image of devout Baptists who frequently espoused their religious beliefs.

While the series was a hit, it was canceled after a police report came to light that said that Josh, the family’s eldest son, molested five girls, including four of his sisters, when he was a teenager.

Following the scandal, Josh Duggar apologized on the family’s website, in which he also admitted to being unfaithful to his wife Anna.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” he wrote.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – FEBRUARY 28: Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar pose during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

“As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all the hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.”

The sentencing was reportedly attended by several members of the Duggar family, including Josh’s father Jim Bob, his wife Anna, his brother Jason and his sister Joy-Anna Forsyth.

According to Page Six, the family members supported the ruling, agreeing that justice had been served.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 11: The Duggar family visits “Extra” at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on March 11, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)

“We were able to sit through the trial to hear the evidence for ourselves,” Joy-Anna and her husband wrote in statement on Instagram. “We agree with the judicial system’s verdict and we are thankful for the men and women who work tirelessly to protect children and help prevent child sexual abuse material.”

“We are saddened for the victims of horrific child abuse,” sister Jinger Duggar wrote in her own statement. “We are also saddened for Josh’s family, his wife and precious children.”

This case is sickening, and we’re happy to hear that justice has finally been served. Please share this news.