Josh Duggar, the eldest of the 19 Kids and Counting raised by The Learning Channel and Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, has been sentenced to 12.5 years in prison on the offense of receiving child pornography, according to People. This is a lesser conviction than expected when Duggar’s trial ended December 21. The morning of his sentencing, charges alleging possession of child pornography were dropped against the former CPAC speaker.
Some members of his Christian white supremacist Quiverfull clan stood by him at the courthouse, including his wife Anna, father Jim Bob, sister Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth, and brother Jason. Before Duggar’s December trial, he admitted to molesting his four younger sisters (then between ages five and 11) and a babysitter in 2003, when he was between 14 and 15 years old.
Some of his 18 siblings have not been so gracious. Duggar’s sister Jill and her husband Derick Dillard have been outspoken against Duggar, releasing a statement in December that said, “Josh's actions have rippled far beyond the epicenter of the offense itself. Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions.”
In the wake of the report becoming public, TLC pulled all reruns of 19 Kids and Counting off the air.
In 2017, Dillard and her sisters Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo, and Joy Duggar unsuccessfully sued the Arkansas counties of Washington and Springdale over the release of records about their brother’s molestation, according to ABC News. Those records showed that the ultra-Conservative family did not report Duggar’s actions to law enforcement and instead sent him to a private Christian rehab facility run by the Institute of Basic Life Principles, the Duggars’ church, until July of that year. (In 2015, he was also sent to the Institute of Basic Life Principles’ Rockford, IL facility Reformers Unanimous for six months for “porn addiction” and for cheating on his wife, Anna.)
Wife Anna was seen in court today making an “I love you” gesture with her hands. Duggar, whose lawyers sought a five-year sentence, maintains his innocence and has said he will appeal. We hope he instead rots in hell.