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19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.
USA TODAY reports the reality TV star was sentenced to 151 months in prison, fined USD $10,000 and ordered to undergo ‘sex offense-specific treatment program’.
Duggar's lawyer Justin K. Gelfand said in a statement to the outlet he was pleased his client didn’t receive a 20 year sentence.
He added: “We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal.”
In May 2019, Duggar was accused of possessing child pornography after a federal agent testified that at least 65 pictures were found on his computer, including a graphic video showing a man sexually abusing two young girls under the age of 10.
An FBI child exploitation investigator also revealed that the images were ‘in the top five of the worst' he had seen in his career.
However, Duggar’s lawyers claimed that someone else had downloaded the images and videos to his computer.
Following the jury’s decision, Duggar’s sister, Jinger, wrote in a statement: “We are saddened for the victims of horrific child abuse. We are also saddened for Josh’s family, his wife and precious children.”
In December 2021, Duggar was found guilty on all child pornography charges after a six-day trial in front of a jury, according to news.com.au.
Another one of Duggar’s siblings, Joy-Anna and her husband, also spoke about his conviction, saying: “We were able to sit through the trial to hear the evidence for ourselves.
“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.”
Prior to the child pornography charges, Duggar had faced multiple sexual assault allegations, some of which were made by his siblings.
In 2015, his sisters, Jill and Jess, spoke with Fox News anchor Megan Kelly.
However, despite admitting what he did was wrong, Jill swung back at her brother’s critics in the interview following the scandal.
She said: “I think in the case of what Josh did, it was very wrong. I'm not going to justify anything that he did or say it was okay.
“It's not permissible.
"But I do want to speak up in his defence against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist.”
Featured Image Credit: Western District of Arkansas Police/MediaPunch. REUTERS/Brian Frank
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