Former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was found guilty on Thursday of one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography in federal court. He faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced four months from now. The Fayetteville, Arkansas trial marks a very long journey for the Duggar family since Josh’s troubles have followed him beyond the TLC show.
The Duggars lost their show with the network in 2015 after it was revealed that Josh had sexually abused five young female family members, including sisters Jill and Jessa, when he was a teenager. The Duggar family chose to handle the situation within their household and not seek therapy for any of the young victims. This led to a fracture that has yet to be repaired — Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, have distanced themselves from her family’s strict independent Baptist household for years now.
Following that story, Josh’s name surfaced in the Ashley Madison data breach scandal, where his name was listed as an active user of the site that enabled people to have affairs. In that revelation, he admitted in a public statement to “secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet” which became “a secret addiction.” He also revealed that he was unfaithful to his wife, Anna Duggar, all while preaching family values for a conservative lobbying group in Washington, D.C.
By 2019, the arrest for receiving and possessing child pornography was not really shocking (unfortunately), but one of the main concerns is that he is now a father of seven children with his wife. In a Thursday press conference, U.S. attorneys called the verdict “a significant milestone” to the state’s “continued efforts to combat child abuse.” Josh’s defense attorneys Justin Gelfand, Ian Murphy, and Travis Story are already planning their next move. “We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations, we respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal,” they told Fox News.
The rest of the family has yet to react, but Dillard promised People that a statement would be forthcoming.
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