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Ex-reality Star Josh Duggar To Be Sentenced For Child Porn

On Wednesday, ex-reality star Josh Duggar is to be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

Josh Duggar

Image: AP


Fayetteville, May 25 (AP) Former reality TV star Josh Duggar will return to federal court on Wednesday, where a judge could sentence him to up to 20 years in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

Prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence for Duggar, whose large family was the focus of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting reality show. His lawyers have asked the court in Fayetteville, about 140 miles (225 kilometres) northwest of Little Rock, to send him to prison for five years.

Duggar was arrested in April 2021 after a Little Rock police detective found child porn files were being shared by a computer traced to Duggar. Investigators testified that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded in 2019 onto a computer at a car dealership Duggar owned.

TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting in 2015 following allegations that Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter years earlier. Authorities began investigating the abuse in 2006 after receiving a tip from a family friend but concluded that the statute of limitations on any possible charges had expired.

Duggar's parents said he had confessed to the fondling and apologised. After the allegations resurfaced in 2015, Duggar apologised publicly for unspecified behaviour and resigned as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.

Months later, he publicly apologised for cheating on his wife and for pornography addiction, for which he then sought treatment.

In seeking a 20-year sentence, prosecutors cited the graphic images and the ages of the children involved as well as court testimony about the alleged abuse of Duggar's sisters. 

Duggar's past behaviour "provides an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children that the Court should consider at sentencing, federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum. 

This past conduct, when viewed alongside the conduct for which he has been convicted, makes clear that Duggar has a deep-seated, pervasive, and violent sexual interest in children, and a willingness to act on that interest the court filing said.

Prosecutors also noted that Duggar's computer had been partitioned to evade accountability software that had been installed to report to his wife activity such as porn searches, according to experts.

There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the steps necessary to change this pattern of behaviour and address his predilection for minor females, prosecutors wrote. 

Duggar has maintained that he's innocent and that he intends to appeal, his attorneys wrote in their sentencing memorandum. 

Duggar accepts that he is before this Court for sentencing and that this Court must impose a penalty, his attorneys wrote. That is justice. But Duggar also appeals to this Court's discretion to temper that justice with mercy.

On Tuesday, US District Judge Timothy Brooks who will sentence Duggar on Wednesday denied Duggar's request for an acquittal or a new trial. (AP)

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