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Josh Duggar Has Been Found Guilty of Downloading and Possessing Child Pornography

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A jury found Josh Duggar guilty of downloading and possessing child pornography. The former 19 Kids and Counting star and former executive director of the Family Research Council’s PAC downloaded material that depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12.

Gerald Faulkner, a Homeland Security Special Agent, testified at Duggar’s trial and explained to the court that the content was found on a desktop computer at Duggar’s workplace in Arkansas. According to Faulkner, one of the images found in the files, which depicted children ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age, was “in the top five of the worst I have ever had to examine” in his 11 years of being an investigator.
The charges were brought against Duggar in April of this year. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
This is not the first time Duggar has been accused of sexual misconduct. Back in 2015, news broke that he had allegedly molested numerous young girls, including some of his sisters. After the allegations surfaced, TLC canceled the family’s reality show but no criminal charges were filed as the allegations had passed the statute of limitations. In a Fox News interview, Duggar’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, confirmed the allegations were true. Josh later apologized with a public statement.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” he said. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.

“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.”

While criminal charges were not pushed then, Josh was forced to resign from his position at the Family Research Council.

The Duggar family rose to fame in 2008 when their show, then called 17 Kids and Counting, premiered on TLC. The show offered a glimpse into the life of a conservative Christian family. The Duggars are Baptists, though they align themselves theologically with the Quiverfull movement, which believes that big families are a blessing from God. As the show was airing, and certainly in the years since its cancellation, the Duggars have had to weather their fair share of controversy, specifically surrounding Josh’s actions.

Two sisters, Jessa and Jill Duggar, have attempted to speak out against Josh’s actions, though they remain fairly tight-lipped about sharing too much information. Jesse Duggar has stated before in a YouTube video that she is not on the best terms with her family. And in a joint statement, Jill (nee Duggar) and her husband Derick Dillard shared their thoughts on the verdict: “Nobody is above the law.”

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They stated they are thankful for the hard work of all who are “involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse” and that “this trial has felt more like a funeral than anything else.”

Jim Bob Duggar is currently running in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas. It’s unclear how his son’s charges will affect his campaign.

Josh faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count when he’s sentenced at a later date.

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