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How did Josh and Anna Duggar meet? Wife ‘stands by him’ amid child porn charges, joins him as he turns himself in

Josh pleaded not guilty when he appeared for his hearing at the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court from jail via Zoom. Anna has continued to stay by his side despite serious federal charges
Anna and Josh Duggar recently revealed they were expecting their seventh child together (Instagram/@annaduggar)
Anna and Josh Duggar recently revealed they were expecting their seventh child together (Instagram/@annaduggar)

Josh Duggar was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday, April 29, on two counts pertaining to child pornography. The star of '19 Kids and Counting' has been accused of receiving and possessing child pornography. The federal grand jury alleged that in 2019 he "knowingly" received images of children under the age of 12.

Project Safe Childhood is a national initiative started in 2006 by the Department of Justice to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse and they will be partly prosecuting this case. At the moment, Josh pleaded not guilty when he appeared for his hearing at the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court from jail via Zoom. A court hearing that is expected to take place next week will tell us if Josh will be able to be released on bond. However, the judge has pointed out if the bond is granted, Josh would have to stay with a third-party custodian and this person is not supposed to have unsupervised minors in the home.


Josh Duggar indicted on child pornography charges, here's how many years he could spend in prison if convicted

Did Josh Duggar molest his own sisters? Sex pest's shocking confession that sent him to rehab

Amid this, there an investigation that took place when he was younger, which accused Josh of molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager, four of them being his own sisters and the fifth being their babysitter. Police documents identify the four sisters as Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar and Jinger Duggar. At that time the family claimed that they had taken care of the same, but soon after, there was also the scandal of Josh cheating on his wife Anna Duggar. Yet, despite all of this, Anna has continued to stay by his side, and reports claim that she is "standing by him" despite serious federal charges.

Anna is currently pregnant with their seventh child and according to a report in Mirror, she accompanied Josh to turn himself in. An insider was quoted as saying that the 32-year-old "is standing by her husband as she always has" and added, "She even accompanied Josh to Fayetteville on Thursday so he could turn himself in to authorities." The insider was also quoted as saying, "Josh and Anna asked the family to pray for them, and said that they love them."

The claims about him molesting underage girls had arisen in 2015. At this time too, his family reportedly stood by him as the disturbing case of sex abuse that took place in 2006 was resolved. This included his wife Anna. At this time, Josh had said "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends."

He was, however, not charged in relation to the above incident. It was in the face of the scandal that the show '19 Kids & Counting' had been canceled and this was followed by the family coming out with a spinoff titled 'Counting On' which did not include Josh. Three months after the sex abuse scandal, a report of Josh cheating on Anna released and at this time Josh said, "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this has become a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."

He was also accused of assaulting porn star Danica Dillon, whose real name is Ashley Johnston during a sexual encounter. This claim surfaced in 2020 in an interview with The Sun. This was a claim that Josh had denied, and another of the scandals that Anna stood by in support.

How did Josh and Anna Duggar meet?

Josh and Anna got married in 2008 and are parents to daughters Mackynzie, 11, Meredith, five, and Maryella, one, and sons Michael, nine, Marcus, seven, and Mason, three. The two who met at a homeschooling convention are expecting their seventh child, who Anna revealed was a girl on Instagram. After courting her, Josh proposed to Anna on her 20th birthday after she had revealed to him that she did not want to get married until she turned 20 years old.  

Even when she is faced with trolls on social media, she comes out strongly in support of her husband. When one such troll questioned how they are able to run a large family and wrote, "How do you afford all those kids? Does Josh even work?" she responded, "Yes, my husband is a diligent worker and provides well for our family."

Speaking of loyalty being broken, Anna had said, "It was definitely a hard thing, and I think it was such a betrayal for a spouse to go through what we’re walking through — and … it was hard,” during an episode of 'Jill & Jessa: Counting On' in 2015. She had then added, “It was hard to realize that it was such a public thing, so not only was it a betrayal for me, but it was also a betrayal against those who call themselves Christian, because here we were as a Christian couple and everyone was able to see us get married and to vow before God to be loyal to each other. And [then] that loyalty was broken.”

Following the scandals, it was reported that Josh had signed up for rehab for six months and when he had come out, it was also said that the couple had begun marriage counseling. The couple said in a statement, "Since the residential treatment program ended, we have been working with a professional marriage and family counselor to take important steps toward healing,” and added, “As the future unfolds, we are taking one day at a time and we are grateful for your continued prayers for both of us and our sweet children.”