Josh Duggar is looking at 40 years in prison after being found guilty by a jury after seven hours of deliberation following a six-day trial.
Duggar, 33, was found guilty on one count each of receiving and possessing child pornography — he could face up to 20 years behind bars and fines of up to $250,000 for each count.
The jury reached its verdict after seven hours of deliberation following a six-day trial, according to NBC’s Fayetteville station KNWA.
TLC canceled the Duggar family’s show, “19 Kids and Counting,” after reports surfaced that Josh Duggar had molested five girls, including his sisters, when he was a minor. TLC then canceled a spin-off after Duggar was arrested over child porn in April this year.
The defense argued that someone else had downloaded the child porn that was discovered on Duggar’s work computer. His attorney, Justin Gilfand, went as far as calling the case “a classic, old-fashioned whodunit.”
During the trial, a friend of the Duggar family said that Josh had discussed downloading software to up the privacy on his computer. He ultimately installed a password-protected partition on his hard drive that he used to download porn on his desktop work computer at his used car lot, the DOJ said.
A different friend of the family testified that Duggar admitted to inappropriately touching girls in 2003 in a conversation with her, and provided more details about what he did in 2005.
The defense had tried to shield the jurors from hearing about the molestation allegations, arguing Duggar never faced charges over the claims. U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks shot that down, writing that the “child pornography victims, in this case, are approximately the same ages as the victims of defendant’s hands-on child-molestation offenses.”
The case was prosecuted under the Justice Department’s “Protect Safe Childhood” initiative, which works to combat child sex exploitation, in the Western District of Arkansas.
“Over 7% of the cases sentenced in the year 2020 in the Western District of Arkansas were child pornography and sexual abuse cases,” said US Attorney Clay Fowlkes, who said in a statement the verdict “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,” he wrote.
The Justice Department said at the time of his arrest that some of the porn he downloaded had kids under the age of 12 in it.
At one point in the trial, DOJ agent James Fottrell alleged that Duggar downloaded a video of a three-month-year-old girl being tortured and sexually abused.
“The infant is crying and screaming. It’s one of the most offensive videos that I’m familiar with throughout my whole career,” Fottrell said.
The jury had to suffer through the presentation of some of the 65 or more images reportedly found on Duggar’s computer.
Duggar’s wife Anna stood by him throughout the trial and was pictured walking into court holding her husband’s hand.
The couple has seven children, including a daughter Madyson who was born in November. Duggar’s arrest came just days after Anna announced her latest pregnancy to the world.
His dad, Jim Bob Duggar, is currently running as a Republican for a state senate seat in Arkansas. In the wake of the arrest, Jim Bob and his wife Michelle spoke vaguely about the horrific charges their son faced, saying they prayed “the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light.”
TLC had tried to get around the allegations by making the focus of the 2015 Duggar spinoff, “Counting On,” two of the sisters who said they were victims of Josh’s molestation.
It didn’t help that Josh was discovered in the massive Ashley Madison hack that year, forcing him to come clean about cheating and admitting to being addicted to porn.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” Josh wrote at the time and then checked into a faith-based long-term treatment center to treat male sin.
Law enforcement caught Duggar while doing an undercover investigation into a file-sharing program used for distributing child porn, searching his used car lot in 2019, and seizing his computer, the DOJ said.
Duggar has not yet been sentenced, and a date is expected to be set three to four months from now.
Source: Marjorie Hernandez for the NYPost