Josh Duggar Found Guilty of Receiving & Possessing Child Pornography
Content warning: This story discusses child pornography.
Jinger Duggar and husband Jeremy Vuolo are speaking out after Josh Duggar was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.
On Friday, Dec. 10, the former Counting On reality stars shared a statement to Instagram addressing Josh’s conviction by jury. “We are saddened for the victims of horrific child abuse. We are also saddened for Josh’s family, his wife and precious children,” the couple reflected. “We are saddened for the dishonor this has brought upon Christ’s name.”
They continued, “Josh claims to be a Christian. When a professing follower of Jesus is exposed as a hypocrite, the response of many will be to challenge the integrity of Jesus himself.”
Jinger and Jeremy, who are estranged from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, are upset with Josh, also shared their “gratitude” for the justice that has been served. Calling children “among the most vulnerable” in society, the couple said “sex trafficking and child abuse” are some “of the most horrific evils imaginable.”
“We are thankful to God for exposing Josh’s actions and to a legal system committed to protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty in this case,” they added. “We are grateful for justice. We are praying for further justice, vindication, protection, and healing for all those who have been wronged.”
Madisen Elizabeth Photography
On Thursday, Dec. 9, an Arkansas jury convicted Josh of one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The former reality star was taken into custody and is awaiting sentencing. He faces up to 40 years in prison (up to 20 years for each count) and fines up to $500,000 (up to $250,000 for each count) in total.
His attorneys Justin Gelfand, Ian Murphy and Travis Story said in a statement to E! News, “We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations. We respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal.”
Josh and Jinger’s parents also addressed the conviction in a separate statement to E! News.
“This entire ordeal has been very grievous. Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us,” they said in part. “Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material].”
Photo by Danny Johnston/AP/Shutterstock (6121052a)
On the heels of Josh’s conviction, multiple outlets reported the eldest Duggar daughter, Jana Duggar, was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. According to court documents filed with the Washington County District Court in Arkansas and obtained by E! News on Friday, Dec. 10, Jana was cited with the misdemeanor on Sept. 9, which her attorney pleaded not guilty to on her behalf.
E! News has reached out to the Duggar family and Jana’s attorney for comment on her case, but hasn’t heard back.
The Duggar family previously dealt with controversy when it was revealed in 2015 that a 14-year-old Josh was investigated for allegedly molesting six girls, four of which were his sisters. Jessa and Jill later came forward to say they were molested, though Jessa said in an interview with Megyn Kelly they “weren’t aware” it was molestation because his actions were “very subtle.”
Josh wasn’t indicted as the statute of limitations had passed. He said in a statement at the time, “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. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling.”
For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.