‘19 Kids and Counting’ star Josh Duggar child porn trial reaches sentencing phase

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Prosecutors and defense attorneys in “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar’s child pornography case each submitted recommendations for sentencing on Wednesday.

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Attorneys for the former reality television star asked that Duggar, 34, who was convicted in December of receiving and possessing child pornography, be given a five-year prison sentence, KNWA-TV reported. Prosecutors want District Judge Timothy Brooks to sentence Duggar to 20 years in prison, the maximum allowed, according to KHBS-TV.

Documents from defense attorneys describe Duggar as a father of seven who has lived an “admirable life” while navigating “unique challenges associated with being in the public spotlight since childhood,” KFSM-TV reported. The attorneys added in their filing that Duggar had no prior offenses and is a hard-working man.

“Even before this court pronounces its sentence, Duggar’s life has already been shattered,” his attorneys wrote. “His reputation, career, and family have all suffered.”

>> Josh Duggar convicted of child pornography charges

Prosecutors countered with a filing that noted Duggar’s two-count indictment in April 2021, the subsequent trial on those charges and the guilty verdict, KNWA reported.

Prosecutors cited Duggar’s history of sexually abusing minors, detailing the “extraordinary” efforts he took to obtain and view the child sexual abuse material, the nature of the material, Duggar’s efforts to conceal the crime and his refusal to take accountability, according to KFSM.

>> Former reality TV star Josh Duggar indicted on child pornography charges

Authorities arrested Duggar, who appeared on more than 115 episodes of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” from 2008 to 2014, on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. Investigators accused Duggar of using the internet to download child pornography in May 2019. The images, which were downloaded at a used car lot that Duggar owns in Springdale, Arkansas, depicted children as young as 7 years old, KFSM reported.

The show was canceled in 2015 after a report from InTouch Weekly detailed allegations that he had molested several young girls while he was a teenager. In a subsequent interview with Fox News, Duggar’s parents confirmed their son had told them about the incidents.

>> Former reality TV star Josh Duggar arrested in Arkansas

Duggar is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25, KFSM reported.


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