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Josh Duggar’s family members react to child porn guilty verdict: 'Felt more like a funeral'

Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar |

Family members have reacted after former reality television star Josh Duggar was found guilty by a federal jury in Arkansas on Thursday of receiving and possessing child pornography and could face up to 20 years in prison. 

“This entire ordeal has been very grievous,” his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, said on their website. “Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, have sustained us. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material].”

The couple vowed to “do all we can to surround” their daughter-in-law Anna Duggar and their seven children.

“As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children,” they assured. “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.”

Amy Duggar King, the cousin of the accused and niece of his parents, overtly praised the jury’s decision.

King, who made appearances on the family’s TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” when on air, regularly spoke out against her cousin. Upon hearing of his conviction, she tweeted that her heart was for the victims.

“May the juror’s and Judge Brooks seek healing/counseling from all that was exposed to them,” King wrote on Twitter

“May the children grow up with real Godly men as father figures who will guide and protect them. May the people who were once in disbelief have their eyes opened for the first time.”

King’s mother, Deanna Duggar, also shared in an Instagram Story that “JUSTICE WAS SERVED!!! Praying for all involved in the case!!!” 

Josh Duggar, 33, had previously admitted to molesting his sisters when he was younger. His history of abuse resulted in the cancelation of the family’s reality show highlighting their large family and ultra-conservative Christian faith. 

Derick Dillard, the husband of Jill Duggar and Josh Duggar’s brother-in-law, shared his thoughts after he and his wife attended the trial. 

“We just wanted to, among other things, see the facts for ourselves,” he told People. “America is the best country to get justice.” 

The couple shared further in a lengthy statement on their family website. 

“Today was difficult for our family,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation. We are thankful for the hard work of law enforcement, including investigators, forensic analysts, prosecutors, and all others involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse.”

“Josh’s actions have rippled far beyond the epicenter of the offense itself,” they added. “Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions. Our hearts are sensitive to the pains Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children have already endured and will continue to process in the future. This trial has felt more like a funeral than anything else. Josh’s family has a long road ahead. We stand with them, we are praying for them, and we will seek to support them however we can during this dark time.”   

The jury in Fayetteville found the “19 Kids and Counting” star guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. After hearing the verdict, he told his wife he “loved her” and was taken into custody. 

Josh Duggar was accused of having over 200 images of child porn “ranging from about 18 months of age to 12 years of age.”

The images were found in a computer at a car dealership that he owned. Duggar had pled not guilty to the charges. His defense claimed someone else was responsible for the illegal files on the computer, a claim investigators found to be unlikely. 

According to People magazine, the allegation that Duggar had porn images of children on devices was made by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Gerald Faulkner, who testified for the prosecution.

Homeland Security seized the devices in March 2020. Agent Faulkner provided a summary of the forensic analysis.

The files downloaded of child abuse were within the “top five of the worst of the worst” that Faulkner said he ever had to examine in his line of work.

Judge Timothy Brooks said Duggar will be sentenced in about four months and faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines.

Federal prosecutor Dustin Roberts said during a press conference after Thursday’s hearing that although Duggar was convicted on both charges, Duggar will be sentenced for the charge of receiving child pornography.

“Possession of child pornography is a lesser included offense,” he said. “By function of law, you can’t be convicted of both.” 

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