Josh Duggar Found Guilty On Two Child Pornography Charges, Faces 20 Years in Prison
Josh Duggar, a former reality-television personality known from the show 19 Kids and Counting, has been found guilty by a Fayetteville, Arkansas jury on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography.
Duggar, 33, was taken into custody after U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks announced the verdict. Sentencing will take place in 4 months, the Judge said. Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count.
Duggar was arrested by U.S. Marshals on April 29, 2021. The trial was originally slated for July but was later delayed to November 30, 2021. Duggar was released from jail on May 5 to await his trial.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, Clay Fowlkes, released a statement saying the verdict “sends the message” that these cases are a priority for prosecutors. The statement went on to say “Regardless of social status or fame, our office will continue to seek out all individuals who seek to abuse children and victimize them through downloading possession, and sharing of child pornography.”
Justin Gelfland, one of Duggar’s lawyers, said that they plan to appeal the decision.
Authorities said they began to investigate Duggar after a Little Rock police detective found evidence that child porn files were being shared onto a computer at a car dealership Duggar owned.
The prosecution’s first witness, a computer analyst, testified that Duggar’s work computer had a split hard drive, which was used to evade an accountability program installed on his computer. The program was reportedly used to alert Duggar’s wife if the computer was being used for inappropriate internet activity such as looking up pornography.
The defense also called a computer analyst to the stand, who claimed that Duggar’s computer could have been remotely tampered with.
This trial comes alongside a mountain of recent news involving the Duggar family, including patriarch Jim Bob Duggar’s recent announcement that he’ll be running for a state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas, and Josh’s wife Anna Duggar giving birth to their seventh child mere weeks before the trial.
19 Kids and Counting was canceled in 2015 following revelations that Duggar had molested a babysitter and four of his sisters when he was a young teen. While local authorities concluded that the statute of limitations had expired on possible charges, Duggar’s parents said he confessed to the fondling and apologized.
A spinoff of the original series, Counting On, was released following the first show’s cancellation but was canceled as well following Duggar’s 2021 arrest.