Josh Duggar's Family Reacts As He's Found Guilty of Child Pornography Charges
"America is the best country to get justice."
“19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar has been found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
The 33-year-old reality TV star faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines on each count. Sentencing will reportedly happen in about four months.
“According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Joshua James Duggar, 33, of Springdale, repeatedly downloaded and viewed images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including images of prepubescent children and depictions of sadistic abuse,” read a release from The United States Department of Justice on Thursday.
Duggar’s attorneys tried to argue that other people had access to Josh’s computer at work, where the illegal material was found. The prosecution, however, said the partitioned part of the hard drive where the content was hidden was only accessible to the former reality star — and was the same as the Duggar family Instagram account.
Josh Duggar's Password to Access Child Porn on Work Computer Was Same as Duggar Family Instagram Account: Prosecutor
“Today’s verdict sends a message that we will track down and prosecute people who download and view child sexual abuse material, regardless of the lengths they go to conceal their conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “I am grateful for the efforts of the prosecution team and our law enforcement partners who helped ensure the defendant would be held accountable for his crimes. I hope today’s conviction serves as a reminder of the department’s steadfast commitment to bringing to justice those who callously contribute to the online sexual exploitation of young children.”
Following the verdict, Duggar’s attorneys revealed they intend to appeal.
Allegations from Duggar’s previous molestation scandal were used as evidence in the trial. In 2015, it came out that he was investigated in 2006 for molesting five underage girls — including four of his sisters. Josh, who was 27 at the time, said in a statement, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends.”
He later admitted to cheating on his wife with the website Ashley Madison and to having a pornography addiction.
Josh Duggar's Cousin Amy Praying for 'Ultimate Sentence' in His Child Porn Trial
Many in Duggar’s family — including his wife Anna, father Jim Bob, siblings Justin, Joy-Anna and Jessa and sister Jill and her husband Derick Dillard — made appearances in court throughout the trial.
Speaking to PEOPLE after the verdict, Derick said he and Jill attended because they “wanted to, among other things, see the facts for ourselves.” Though he said they’d be releasing a longer statement at a later date, he added, “America is the best country to get justice.”
Josh’s cousin Amy Duggar King, meanwhile, tweeted her reaction to the verdict on Twitter.
“May the juror’s and Judge Brooks seek healing / counseling from all that was exposed to them,” she tweeted. “May the children grow up with real Godly men as father figures who will guide and protect them. May the people who were once in disbelief have their eyes opened for the first time.”
“May the daughters who were abused feel validated. You are truly beautiful and worthy of love,” she continued. “May there be intense counseling / healing.May there be wisdom for all those involved on how to move forward. Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served.”
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