Josh Duggar Found Guilty on Child Pornography Charges, Potential 40-Year Prison Sentence
Josh Duggar Found Guilty on Child Pornography Charges, Potential 40-Year Prison Sentence. #JoshDuggard #BreakingNews
A jury on Thursday found the former reality star, political activist and father of seven guilty of two charges of knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography, also known as child sexual abuse material.
He faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for each conviction — though, because possession is a lesser included offense, he will technically only be sentenced for the receipt crime.
“We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations, we respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal,” Duggar’s legal team said in a statement to NBC News.
Josh’s lawyers said Thursday then plan to appeal the case. Many members of the Duggar family sat in on the trial, offering support to their fallen family member.
Siblings Jana, Jason, Joy-Anna, her husband Austin Forsyth, Justin, Jessa, Jill and Jill’s husband Derick Dillard, along with father Jim Bob, were all present at some point.
His sentencing is expected in four months but a date hasn’t been scheduled pending a pre-sentence investigation.
Shortly after his conviction, Duggar, 33, was led away in handcuffs by U.S. marshals — and he was seen growing visibly distraught as he paused to speak briefly with his wife, Anna.
“First and foremost, this shows that no person is above the law,” Clay Fowlkes, the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, told reporters beside Riggins.
Duggar had been on trial in federal court in Fayetteville, Arkansas, since last week.
“This verdict sends the message that these cases are a top priority for our office,” Fowlkes said. “This verdict also demonstrates that no person is above the law. 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.”
Duggar pleaded not guilty to federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography in Arkansas in April. Federal prosecutors contended that Duggar downloaded a Linux partition on the laptop to circumvent computer software that monitors internet use.
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