Former '19 Kids and Counting' star, Josh Duggar was sentenced to about 12-and-a-half years in prison after he was convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography, on Wednesday.
As per legal records, Duggar, 34, has been sentenced to 151 months in prison, after being in custody since December when a federal jury found him guilty of possession and receipt of child pornography.
US District Judge Timothy Brooks was initially requested by prosecutors for a maximum term of 20 years as they argued in a pre-sentencing court filing that Duggar has a "deep-seated, pervasive and violent sexual interest in children," the Mercury news reported.
"While this is not the sentence we asked for, this is a lengthy sentence," US Attorney David Clay Fowlkes said outside the courthouse, satisfied with the court's decision.
Chilling testimony from a mother whose daughter had been one of the victims revealed that the little girl became an 'anxious and fretful shadow of her former self' after being abused to provide this source of 'entertainment.' "My daughter is a real person," the mother stated. "She was horribly victimized and will be exploited anew each and every time an image of her suffering is copied, traded or sold."
The court discovered, Duggar, father of seven, had a history of sexual abuse. Starting from 2003 when as a teenager he had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter. As these allegations surfaced in 2015 and Bobye Holt, a family friend testified about the scandal, the TLC show featuring Duggar and his family was canceled. Months later, Duggar publicly apologized and admitted to a porn addiction as well as cheating on his wife.
In April 2021, Detective Amber Kalmer of the Little Rock Police Department used a specialist police program called Torrential Downpour, especially designed to target pedophiles by catching them in the act of sharing child pornography files online, found Duggar guilty of downloading the explicit content in his office desktop, iPhone and Macbook, as per the Daily Mail.
Highlighting his past behavior, federal prosecutors requested the court to bear in mind 'the extent of Duggar's sexual interest in children.' Considering these, the court orders were clear in prohibiting him any unsupervised access to children, including his own and to remain under supervision for 20 years even after his release. Duggar was also barred from accessing the internet.
Son of Jim Bob, a Republican and former Arkansas State Representative, Duggar is currently held at the Washington County Detention Center and maintains that he is innocent with aims to appeal.
"[Duggar] accepts that he is before this Court for sentencing and that this Court must impose a penalty," his attorneys wrote in their sentencing memorandum, "That is justice. But Duggar also appeals to this Court's discretion to temper that justice with mercy."