Josh Duggar indicted on child pornography charges, here's how many years he could spend in prison if convicted
Josh Duggar has been charged on two counts pertaining to child pornography after being indicted by a federal grand jury, alleging that in 2019 he "knowingly" received images of children under age 12.
Josh Duggar,33, was arrested on Thursday, April 29 by the U.S Marshals and was booked into Washington County jail without bond for federal court. The '19 Kids and Counting' star has been indicted on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
Duggar has been charged on two counts connected to child pornography after being indicted by a federal grand jury alleging that in 2019 he "knowingly" received images of children under the age of 12. The case is being prosecuted in part by the national initiative Project Safe Childhood, a program started in 2006 by the Department of Justice to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse.
How many years could Josh Duggar spend in prison if convicted?
Duggar appeared before the judge at the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court from jail via Zoom where he pleaded not guilty on all counts. A court hearing has been set for next week to determine if he can be released on bond, until then he is to remain in custody. The judge ruled if the bond is granted, Duggar will be required to stay with a third-party custodian, and that person can't have unsupervised minors in the home.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office, Duggar could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count. "Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children," the press release said. He has been ordered to forfeit any material related to the case to authorities, including turning over any and all computer equipment. Duggar's trial is scheduled to take place in July.
Duggar's arrest comes a day shy of a week since he and wife Anna announced they were expecting a seventh child. "It’s a GIRL!!!!! We are overjoyed to announce baby seven is on the way and we can’t wait to hold her in our arms this fall!," she wrote in an Instagram post.
The eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar has been married to Anna Renee Duggar since 2008. The couple share children Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
Duggar's legal counsel is set to defend him 'aggressively'
Duggar's legal counsel Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne in a statement said, "Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly."
"In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom—and that is exactly what Josh intends to do," they added.
Duggar was previously investigated for molesting five underage girls when he was a teenager, and four of them were later identified in police documents as his own sisters - Jessa Duggar, Jill Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar and Jinger Duggar. He was also a part of yet another scandal when the world found out he had cheated on wife Anna Duggar using the website Ashley Madison.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar release joint statement
"We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious," their joint statement on Friday read after their son was arrested on child pornography charges.
"It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family," their statement continued.