Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Break Silence on Son Josh's Guilty Verdict

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said they offer their "hearts and prayers" to anyone who has been harmed through child sexual abuse material, following Josh Duggar's conviction.

By Lindsay Weinberg Dec 09, 2021 10:47 PMTags
Watch: Josh Duggar Found Guilty of Receiving & Possessing Child Pornography

Content warning: This story discusses child pornography.

Josh Duggar's parents are speaking out after their son was convicted of two criminal counts in an Arkansas court.

The former 19 Kids and Counting star, 33, was found guilty of one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography on Thursday, Dec. 9. He had pleaded not guilty to both, and his attorneys told E! News they plan to appeal. 

Parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar exclusively tell E! News in a statement, "This entire ordeal has been very grievous. Today, God's grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material]." 

The couple's statement went on to mention Josh's wife Anna Duggar, who welcomed their seventh child on Oct. 23.

"In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support," Jim Bob and Michelle said. "As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children. In each of life's circumstances, we place our trust in God. He is our source of strength and refuge. Thank you for your prayers."

The Complete Duggar Family Tree

Per the Associated Press, Josh faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, and fines of up to $250,000 for each count. His sentencing will occur at a later time. 

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

In April, Josh was arrested for allegedly possessing child sexual abuse material of kids under the age of 12, according to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office of the Western District of Arkansas. His possession allegedly occurred in May 2019.

After the verdict, his attorneys said in a statement to E! News, "We appreciate the jury's lengthy deliberations... We respect the jury's verdict, and we intend to appeal."

TLC cancelled Counting On two months after his arrest.

The family's original show, 19 Kids and Counting, was cancelled in 2015, following allegations that Josh molested multiple girls as a teen. His sisters Jessa Duggar and Jill Duggar identified themselves as victims in an interview with Megyn Kelly

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"Well, I think in the case of what Josh did, it was very wrong," Jessa, then 22, said. "I'm not going to justify anything that he did or say it was ok, not permissible, but I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying. I'm like that is so overboard." 

She added, "In Josh's case, he was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls. And that got him into to some trouble. And he made some bad choices, but really the extent of it was mild, inappropriate touching, on fully clothed victims, most of it while girls were sleeping."

Josh apologized in 2015. "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," he said in a statement to People. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life." He was not charged.

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.