Former reality TV star Josh Duggar was sentenced to about 12 1/2 years in prison after he was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.

Josh Duggar gets 12 years in child pornography case

Fayetteville, Ark – Former reality TV star Josh Duggar was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 12-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors had asked US District Judge Timothy Brooks to grant the 20-year limit to Duggar, whose extended family was the focus of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” They argued in a court filing present that Duggar had a “deep, penetrating, violent sexual interest in children”.

The judge sentenced Duggar to 12 years and seven months in prison, one day after rejecting the defense’s request to overturn the conviction on the grounds of insufficient evidence or order a new trial.

US Attorney David Clay Foulkes said he was pleased with the verdict.

“Although this is not the sentence we asked for, this is a long sentence,” Foulkes said outside the courtroom.

Duggar, whose lawyers have requested a five-year prison sentence, maintains his innocence and has said he will appeal.

Duggar was arrested in April 2021 after a Little Rock police detective discovered that child pornography files had been shared by a computer that had been traced to Duggar. Investigators testified that images depicting sexual abuse of children, including young children, were downloaded in 2019 to a computer at a car dealership owned by Duggar.

TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 after allegations that Duggar molested four of his sisters and a babysitter years earlier. Authorities began investigating abuses in 2006 after receiving information from a family friend but concluded that the statute of limitations on any potential charges had expired.

Duggar’s parents said he admitted to foreplay and apologized. After the allegations resurfaced in 2015, Duggar publicly apologized for unspecified behavior and resigned as a lobbyist with the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.

Months later, he publicly apologized for his wife’s infidelity and addiction to pornography, which he then sought treatment for.

In the pursuit of a 20-year prison sentence, prosecutors cited the graphic photographs – and the ages of the children involved – as well as court testimony about the alleged abuse of the Duggar sisters.

Federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum that Duggar’s prior behavior “provides a troubling window into the extent of his sexual interest in children that must be considered by a court in sentencing.”

“This past conduct, when viewed alongside the conduct for which he was convicted, demonstrates that Duggar has a deep, penetrating and violent sexual interest in children, and a willingness to act in accordance with that interest,” the lawsuit reads.

Prosecutors also noted that Duggar’s computer was hacked to evade accountability software that was installed to inform his wife of his activity such as searching for pornography, according to experts.

“There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the necessary steps to change this pattern of behavior and address his penchant for underage females,” prosecutors wrote.

Duggar maintained he was innocent and intended to appeal, his lawyers wrote in the sentencing memorandum.

“Dugar agrees that he is brought before this court for sentencing and that this court should impose a sentence,” his lawyers wrote. “That is justice. But Duggar also appeals to this court’s discretion to temper that justice with mercy.”

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2022-05-25 20:50:16

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