Josh Duggar Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Prison Over Child Pornography Case

Nearly six months after he was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography, former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar has been sentenced by an Arkansas judge.

By Gabrielle Chung May 25, 2022 8:28 PMTags
Watch: Josh Duggar SENTENCED in Child Pornography Case

Content warning: This story discusses child pornography.

Josh Duggar has received his sentence nearly six months after he was convicted of possessing and receiving child porn.

The 19 Kids and Counting alum, 34, was sentenced to sentenced to 151 months—almost 12-and-a-half years—in prison by Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court on May 25, according to court documents obtained by E! News. Josh, the oldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, was also fined $10,000.

According to the docs, the former TLC star will be placed on a 20-years of supervised release, where he will be required to participate in a sex offender treatment program, upon his release from prison. He will also be prohibited from unsupervised contact with minors and will not be able to use a computer or any device with internet without approval or marijuana.

Josh was found guilty of one count receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography in December 2021, following a six-day jury trial in Arkansas. Josh, whose lawyers sought a five-year sentence, maintains his innocence.

Just hours before his sentencing, with the agreement of both the defense and prosecution, the court vacated Josh's second conviction of possessing child porn without prejudice.

The Complete Duggar Family Tree

"We're grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government's request for a 240-month sentence," Duggar's's attorney Justin K. Gelfand told E! News in a statement. "We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal." 

A day before his sentencing, Josh's request for a new trial was denied, according to legal papers obtained by E! News.

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At the time of his convictions, his parents told E! News in an exclusive statement that they "will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children."

"This entire ordeal has been very grievous," their December statement read in part. "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."

Meanwhile, United States Attorney for Western Arkansas Clay Fowlkes, who oversees the office responsible for prosecuting Josh, said in a statement of his own that the guilty verdict "demonstrates that no person is above the law." He added, "Regardless of wealth, social status, or fame, our office will continue to seek out all individuals who seek to abuse children and victimize them through the downloading, possession, and sharing of child pornography." 

During the trial, prosecutors accused Josh of using the internet to download child sexual abuse material in May 2019. Federal authorities claimed Josh installed a password-protected partition on the hard drive of his workplace computer in Springdale, Ark., to avoid its pornography-detecting software and then accessed child sexual abuse material, some of which depicted children under the age of 12, over the course of three days.

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Josh was arrested in late April 2021. He was released on bail days later and pleaded not guilty to both criminal charges in the following month.

Ahead of his sentencing, his wife Anna Duggar—with whom he shares kids Mackynzie, 12; Michael, 10; Marcus, 8; Meredith, 6; Mason, 4; and Maryella, 2, and Madyson, 7 months—and other members of his family penned letters in his defense to the judge overseeing his case.

"My children and I rely on Joshua for financial, emotional, and physical support. Many others depend on Joshua, too," Anna wrote in a letter dated March 7 and obtained by E! News on May 17. Calling Josh a "kind, loving, supportive, and caring father and husband," Anna also asked that the judge "consider reuniting us as a family again soon."

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