Josh Duggar, who appeared on the TLC reality series “19 Kids and Counting,” has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography. The sentencing was announced Wednesday, after Duggar was found guilty by a Fayetteville, Ark. jury last December.
Duggar will spend 151 months in prison, and after release he will spend 20 years under supervision. He will serve his sentence either in Seagoville, Texas, which has a sex offender treatment program, or Texarkana, Tex. During those 20 years he will be required to register as a sex offender and participate in a treatment program, will not be allowed access to an internet device without approval and will be forbidden from having unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children. He also will have to comply with any DNA collection asked from him, and he will be prohibited from using marijuana.
Duggar was first arrested in April 2021. A Justice Department computer expert James Fottrell testified during the trial that pornographic images of children as young as 12 experiencing sexual abuse had been downloaded onto Duggar’s work computer the year before.
Earlier this month, Duggar’s defense team requested the judge give Duggar a lenient sentence in the case, asking for five years, and submitted letters of recommendation from community members to the court. The prosecution called for 20 years, the maximum penalty for possession of child pornography in the United States.
Duggar is the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, devout baptists who starred in “19 Kids and Counting,” a show about their large family. The show was cancelled in 2015, after Josh Duggar was accused of molesting four of his sisters and a babysitter. Duggar’s parents said he admitted his actions and sought counseling, and charges weren’t pressed at the time.