Alright, if you haven't heard the news about Josh Duggar and his wrongful actions we're here to catch you up. So, let's just jump right into it, shall we?
In April 2021 news broke that the 19 Kids and Counting alum was arrested in Arkansas. He was later convicted of possessing and receiving child porn. On April 30th, 2021 the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Arkansas revealed the nature of the charges.
The press release shared, "“A Springdale man was arrested yesterday for receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children. According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material. Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
Duggar was detained without bond and was released from jail in May 2021. However, he was under strict rules one being that he was not allowed to live with his kids and if he wanted to spend time with them, visits would have to be supervised.
And, unfortunately, these actions of the former TLC personality are not new. Back in 2015 he was in almost every headline when resurfaced court documents exposed his past. Duggar was guilty of molesting five girls between 2002 and 2003 when he was just 14 and 15 years old. Four of those girls were related to him. So, with that being said, in his most recent case, he doesn't have the majority of his family standing behind him.
In regards to his acts in the early 2000's Duggar shared a statement on Facebook which wrote, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. 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.”
His parents, Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob, along with his wife, Anna Duggar, have publicly supported the oldest Duggar child and have attended his trial as well. They acknowledged that what he's done is wrong but not wrong enough to turn their back on him (in their eyes at least).
Duggar's sister Jill, however, shared a statement which wrote, "Nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor.
Another sister of his, Joy-Anna, released a statement which read in part, "We agree with the judicial system's verdict and we are thankful for the men and women who work tirelessly to protect children and help prevent child sexual abuse material."
"For Better Or For Worse"
People's opinions on Anna's standing in this all are probably very split with little to no gray area. But before we dive into her willingness to stand behind him during his trial, let's catch up on their past.
The couple wed in 2008 and share seven kids. They've gone through some rough patches over the years, as you probably could've guessed from his 2015 conviction, but Anna has continued to fight for their relationship.
Most recently, before this current trial, Josh and Anna's marriage hit a barricade when Josh's Ashley Madison account was exposed. However, he sought treatment and the duo went to counseling. In 2016 they shared a statement, "Since the residential treatment program ended, we have been working with a professional marriage and family counselor to take important steps toward healing, As the future unfolds, we are taking one day at a time and we are grateful for your continued prayers for both of us and our sweet children.”
And, yet again, Anna is standing by him, even after Josh is found guilty of such a horrific crime.
Keeping Busy In Jail
After being found guilty, Duggar was taken to jail immediately. Since December 2021 he's been help in solitary confinement for "safety reasons" at the Washington County Detention Center.
The judge shared, "Mr. Duggar 100 percent has been compliant awaiting trial. I appreciate that, and I wanted to acknowledge that. However, because of the guilty offenses, he must be detained regardless of flight risk, so there will be a mandatory detention. The marshalls will set that up.”
The former TV personality has been placed in his own cell but is allegedly using his time to convert his fellow prisoners to Christianity. The Hollywood Gossip reported that family and friends of his have submitted letters to the court about his acts of kindness in hopes of getting him a short sentence.
Nicole Burruss, a family friend, recalled a phone call with Anna when she wrote her note. She stated that Josh “devastatingly shared that there was a man who was verbally threatening and abusive to him every time he passed his cell in solitary confinement.” However, the alleged tormentor eventually made the effort to reconcile with Duggar. Hmm.
Her letter continued to share, "This hardened criminal stated that he and the other men knew that Joshua was innocent. As inmates, they recognized that sometimes innocent men are in prison and they were so stunned by Joshua’s character that they were convinced of his innocence.”
Burruss continued to explain that Duggar is spreading the word of God in prison.
Her letter went on to say, “When Joshua was first put into jail, he shared a room with a man who had destroyed his life and needed hope. Joshua shared with him the good news about Jesus’ death for him, and told him about becoming a Christian: a new creation.”
But, what about the people on the other side of this crime?
An Investigations Special Agent with Homeland Security, Gerald Faulkner, revealed that the files found on Duggar's computer were "in the top five of the worst of the worst that I've ever had to examine."
A parent of one of his victims also reached out to the court with concern, "I can find no words to express the fury I feel at those who participate in this evil or my scorn for any attempt to minimize the responsibility be feeble claims that the crime was 'victimless.'" Their letter continued, “My daughter is a real person. She was horribly victimized to provide this source of ‘entertainment.’ She is exploited anew each and every time an image of her suffering is copied, traded or sold.”
The daughter also wrote a letter in her own appeal to the judge saying, "Don't you know no one should do that to a little girl! Don't you know it hurts!"
Like we said earlier, no official sentence has been set. However, those on Duggar's side are pretty much begging for it to be shortened from 20 years to five years.
What do you think it should be?