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Josh Duggar is found GUILTY on two counts of child pornography


Josh Duggar smiles in his booking photo after being found guilty of child porn charges

Josh Duggar smiles in his booking photo after being found guilty of child porn charges 

Disgraced reality TV star Josh Duggar faces decades in prison after he was found guilty today of downloading a vile trove of ‘the worst of the worst’ child porn. 

Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning guilty verdicts on charges of possessing child pornography and receipt of child pornography, both punishable by 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. 

Duggar, 33, glanced anxiously toward his wife Anna and dad Jim Bob but showed little emotion as each juror was asked individually to reaffirm their decision.

The once clean-cut Christian star of 19 Kids and Counting finally broke down in tears, however, as marshals placed him in handcuffs but allowed him to linger for a few moments beside his family in the public gallery.

‘I love you’, he mouthed towards Anna, also 33, who remained composed throughout the brief hearing before burying her head in a supporter’s arms and weeping as it ended. 

A week-long federal trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas heard how Duggar used his considerable tech skills to scour the dark web for videos of little girls being tortured, humiliated and abused.  

Duggar had previously made headlines in 2015 when police reports stating that he had molested his four of his young sisters when he was 12 became public. His parents said he had confessed to the fondling and apologized. 

Jurors on Monday heard testimony from a family friend who said Duggar had told her about the abuse.

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Josh Duggar, 33, (pictured with wife Anna on Thursday) was found guilty on two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography

Josh Duggar, 33, (pictured with wife Anna on Thursday) was found guilty on two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography 

The disgraced reality star is facing years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each count. Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning guilty verdicts

The disgraced reality star is facing years in jail and a $250,000 fine for each count. Jurors deliberated for six hours before returning guilty verdicts

Duggar, who wore a black suit, white shirt, striped tie and black face mask, will be transported to the Washington County Detention Center where sources said he will be housed in a secure sex offenders unit

Duggar, who wore a black suit, white shirt, striped tie and black face mask, will be transported to the Washington County Detention Center where sources said he will be housed in a secure sex offenders unit

The couple, pictured with six of their seven young children, subscribed to a service in 2013 called Covenant Eyes that monitors adult internet use and would report 'objectionable material' to wife Anna, the court heard

The couple, pictured with six of their seven young children, subscribed to a service in 2013 called Covenant Eyes that monitors adult internet use and would report ‘objectionable material’ to wife Anna, the court heard

His younger brother Justin cried quietly as he watched his sibling being led away to jail.  His father Jim Bob, 56, put his hands in his pockets, bowed his head and then hugged Anna. 

Judge Timothy Brooks remanded Duggar in custody under a mandatory rule based on the seriousness of his crimes and said he will have to wait around four months to be sentenced.

Derrick Dillard, the husband of Josh’s sister Jill, told DailyMail.com: ‘We don’t want to say anything yet, Jill is going through a hard time right now.’

Duggar, who wore a black suit, white shirt, striped tie and black face mask, will be transported later today to the Washington County Detention Center where sources said he will be housed in a secure sex offenders unit.

Speaking outside court, defense attorney Justin Gelfand announced immediate plans to appeal.

‘We respect the jurors’ verdicts and we look forward to continuing this fight,’ he said. ‘We plan to appeal at the appropriate time.’

David Clay Fowlkes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, told reporters: ‘This case represents a significant milestone for the Western District of Arkansas in our continued efforts to combat child abuse. 

‘Those who would say that children who were photographed and videoed in a manner similar to the evidence in this case are not abused and are not victims, are clearly wrong.

‘Children who are photographed and videoed in manner such as this are the victims and every time their videos and photos are traded online, uploaded and downloaded from the internet, they are victimized all over again, every single time that that happens.’

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Anna Duggar left court alone after weeks two of proceedings ended with her husband being convicted and taken into police custody in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Anna Duggar left court alone after weeks two of proceedings ended with her husband being convicted and taken into police custody in Fayetteville, Arkansas 

Anna - who attended every day of trial with her husband - had remained composed throughout the brief hearing but started weeping as it ended

Anna – who attended every day of trial with her husband – had remained composed throughout the brief hearing but started weeping as it ended 

The 33-year-old has been married to Duggar since 2008 and the couple share seven children

The 33-year-old has been married to Duggar since 2008 and the couple share seven children 

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar pose during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland

Josh Duggar's booking photo provided by the Washington County Jail in Arkansas following his April arrest

A week-long federal trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas heard how 33-year-old Duggar – once the wholesome Christian star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting – used his considerable tech skills to scour the dark web for videos depicting the sexual abuse of children 

He said of the verdicts: ‘It first and foremost shows that no person is above the law regardless of their status, regardless of their wealth, regardless of their fame.’

Duggar’s cousin Amy Duggar King shared her prayers for the judge, jury, and victims in his trial shortly after he was found guilty.

Amy, 35, has been by far the most vocal member of the family in condemning Josh since his arrest in April, and tweeted multiple times during his trial that she was praying for justice. 

She also prayed that those who were in ‘disbelief’ that Josh could do something so heinous now have their ‘eyes opened.’

Finally, she praised Jesus for the guilty verdict, writing: ‘Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served.’

‘May the juror’s and Judge Brooks seek healing/counseling from all that was exposed to them,’ she wrote.

The jurors had to watch some of the video and see images of children being sexually abused that Josh was convicted of downloading.

‘May the children grow up with real Godly men as father figures who will guide and protect them,’ she said.

Duggar family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar leaves the courthouse on Thursday after the guilty verdict was announced

Duggar family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar leaves the courthouse on Thursday after the guilty verdict was announced

Court papers show the guilty verdict on both counts of child porn charges against Duggar Thursday

Court papers show the guilty verdict on both counts of child porn charges against Duggar Thursday

‘May the people who were once in disbelief have their eyes opened for the first time,’ she went on.

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In a second tweet, she continued her prayer with a shoutout to Josh’s four sisters, whom he abused when they were children.  

Amy Duggar King has shared her prayers for the judge, jury, and victims in her cousin Josh Duggar's trial

Amy Duggar King has shared her prayers for the judge, jury, and victims in her cousin Josh Duggar’s trial 

Duggar’s stunning fall from grace follows an eight day federal trial in Fayetteville, Arkansas that heard how he used his self-taught tech skills to scour the dark web for sick videos of little girls being tortured, humiliated and abused. 

Graphic titles such as ‘pedo mom,’ ‘play tot sweetie’, ‘Daisy’s destruction’ and ‘ultra hard pedo pedofilia’, left little to the imagination.

One video ended with a girl being caged in a dog kennel. Another series of images depicted a minor being raped by a male adult.  

The warped cache was so disturbing that a seasoned FBI child exploitation investigator said it was ‘in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.’

Defense lawyers contended that a former employee or hacker could have exploited Duggar’s lax internet security to hijack his computer and remotely download the material without anyone knowing.

She also praised God for the guilty verdict, writing: 'Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served'

 She also praised God for the guilty verdict, writing: ‘Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served’

Prosecutors branded it a ‘fantasy’ and used texts and images to place the accused at the keyboard; jurors unanimously agreed with them.

The court also heard from a close family friend this week who shed new light on the molestation scandal that engulfed the Duggars in 2015, tarnishing their wholesome image and leading to the cancellation of their hit TLC show.

Bobye Holt choked back tears as she revealed how Duggar had confessed at age 15 to groping and penetrating his younger sisters during ‘bible time’ and while they slept.

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The defense fought to exclude her testimony but the judge ultimately agreed that it provided important clues about his sinister appetite for minors.

She added: 'Please pray for the victims and for the truth to be revealed. Pray that the judge will give the ultimate sentence'

Amy also wrote about the trial on the first day, saying: 'Today is a heavy day. This whole week will be. Next week will be too. Until justice is served'

She added: ‘Please pray for the victims and for the truth to be revealed. Pray that the judge will give the ultimate sentence’

Investigators traced child porn images to the IP address to Duggar's now-defunct used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, and seized his office HP desktop and iPhone in April

Investigators traced child porn images to the IP address to Duggar’s now-defunct used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, and seized his office HP desktop and iPhone in April 

Duggar (pictured after his release from jail in May) allegedly asked federal agents without knowing anything about the nature of the probe: 'Has someone downloaded child pornography?'

Duggar (pictured after his release from jail in May) allegedly asked federal agents without knowing anything about the nature of the probe: ‘Has someone downloaded child pornography?’

Despite Holt’s shocking testimony and the repulsive nature of the allegations, the Duggars maintained a largely united front, with Jim Bob and Jill Duggar Dillard, 30 – one of the four sisters Josh was accused of molesting – flanking Anna in the front row of the public gallery.

Anna kept her emotions largely in check as prosecutors told the eight-day trial that her husband downloaded video and multiple images of prepubescent girls being ‘abused, violated and exploited’ between May 14 and 16, 2019.

The tech-savvy eldest Duggar sibling used an encrypted ‘peer-to-peer’ application called uTorrent which allows users to anonymously search and download files from one another over the dark web.

But his downfall began on May 14 when his system made the first of two ‘digital handshakes’, not with another pervert, but with Detective Amber Kalmer of the Little Rock Police Department.

Kalmer was using a specialist police program called Torrential Downpour which targets pedophiles by catching them in the act of sharing child pornography files online.

She was able to upload from his device video of girls aged seven and nine being violated as well as a cache of 65 images of a young girl of seven or eight being abused. 

Jill Duggar made her first appearance at her brother's trial Wednesday with her husband Derick Dillard, who has been a spectator in the proceedings

Jill Duggar made her first appearance at her brother’s trial Wednesday with her husband Derick Dillard, who has been a spectator in the proceedings 

Jill and Derick Dillard. Jill had been notably absent at the trial, where she had been named a potential witness last week

Her husband Derick has been seen attending the proceedings multiple times since the trial began

Jill had been notably absent at the trial, where she had been named a potential witness last week. Her husband Derick has been seen attending the proceedings multiple times since the trial began 

Kalmer tipped off Feds who traced the IP address to Duggar’s used car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, Arkansas, and seized his office HP desktop, iPhone and MacBook. 

After volunteering to speak with agents – but without knowing anything about the nature of the probe – Duggar asked them: ‘Has someone been downloading child pornography?’

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‘I’m not denying guilt. I don’t want to say if I’m guilty or not,’ he further told Special Agents Gerald Faulkner and Howard Aycock in damning audio played to the court.

When forensic scientists studied the HP they found someone had installed complicated software called a Linux partition which creates a second, independent operating system within the same device.

Prosecutors said the hidden system allowed Duggar to circumnavigate Covenant Eyes, an ‘accountability’ program installed on his computers and phones to warn his wife if he looked at porn or tried to download peer-to-peer software.

It also provided a secret online space where he could search for, download, then delete child pornography, all behind the innocent veneer of a standard work computer with a wallpaper of his family. 

Justin Duggar arrives with wife Clair Spivey and her parents Wednesday as week two of proceedings continue in his brother's trial

Justin Duggar arrives with wife Clair Spivey and her parents Wednesday as week two of proceedings continue in his brother’s trial 

Some members of Duggar's family members have distanced themselves from him since his arrest, however, his sister Joy-Anna Duggar was seen attending the trial with husband Austin Forsyth multiple times

Some members of Duggar’s family members have distanced themselves from him since his arrest, however, his sister Joy-Anna Duggar was seen attending the trial with husband Austin Forsyth multiple times 

Jessa and other Duggar family members including sibling Joy-Anna Forsyth, Jason (blue jacket) and James Duggar (plaid shirt) were seen arriving at court Monday

Jessa and other Duggar family members including sibling Joy-Anna Forsyth, Jason (blue jacket) and James Duggar (plaid shirt) were seen arriving at court Monday

The partition could only be accessed by rebooting, hitting F9 and entering the password intel1988 – the exact same password used for his internet banking and Duggar family Instagram and Twitter accounts.

The government also retrieved dozens of text messages and images found on Duggar’s Apple devices that placed him at the car lot at the precise time the porn was downloaded and viewed.

These included a photo of someone pointing their phone at the HP’s screen to capture a freeze-frame from a YouTube video about camshafts.

A faint reflection of a baseball cap saying ‘Wholesale Motors’ could be seen on the computer’s monitor. Later that day, Duggar took a selfie of himself in the same hat while shopping with Anna.

‘His car lot, his office, his computer, his family image on the desktop background, his password,’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall told jurors.

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In one of the more harrowing moments of the trial, Holt, a lifelong ‘best friend’ of the Duggar family told the court that Josh had confessed to abusing four of his sisters when he was in his teens.

Holt said Jim Bob and his wife Michelle, 55, asked her and her husband Jim Holt, a former Arkansas state senator, to urgently come to their house on March 30, 2003.

Bobye Holt (left), a mother-of-11, said her husband Jim (right) and Duggar's father Jim Bob had been best friends since school and that the two families were very close

Jim Bob pictured with wife Michelle

Bobye Holt (left), a mother-of-11, said her husband Jim (left) and Duggar’s father Jim Bob (right) had been best friends since school and that the two families were very close. She testified for the prosecution in Josh’s trial 

Four of Josh's sisters, Jessa, Jinger, Jill, and Jana Duggar in 2014. Jurors heard testimony Monday from a longtime family friend who described how Josh confessed to molesting his sisters when they were sleeping

Four of Josh’s sisters, Jessa, Jinger, Jill, and Jana Duggar in 2014. Jurors heard testimony Monday from a longtime family friend who described how Josh confessed to molesting his sisters when they were sleeping 

Holt’s eldest daughter was going on chaperoned dates with Josh Duggar but the courtship was immediately ‘called off’ after he admitted sexually assaulting his younger sisters, referred to in court as Jane Does.

‘He had Jane Doe 4 on his lap during bible time and he touched her private area, her breast area and her bottom area,’ said Holt. Duggar was 15 while the sister in question was five.

‘He ended up confessing that, on and off, since he was 12 years old, he would touch Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3,’ she added.

‘He said he touched their breast area, their private area, on top of their clothes, sometimes under, when they were sleeping.’

Duggar made further admissions about the 2003 incident with Jane Doe 4, telling Holt two years later that he ‘actually went under her pantaloons and under her panties and touched her vagina.’

The mother-of-11 asked Duggar if he had merely touched his sister’s privates or whether he had penetrated her with his fingers. ‘He said both,’ she recalled.

Duggar’s lawyers argued that former employees, customers or even a hacker could have burrowed into the HP computer though its poor internet security settings and used it as a proxy to remotely stream porn.

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They also claimed their famed client, home-schooled and a ‘Mac guy’, lacked the sophisticated IT skills to install a Linux partition.

The Duggar family in 2014. Their show, 19 Kids & Counting, ran from 2008 until 2015

The Duggar family in 2014. Their show, 19 Kids & Counting, ran from 2008 until 2015

‘They were so starstruck at the possibility of investigating and prosecuting Josh Duggar that they refused to let the evidence get in the way,’ defense attorney Justin Gelfand told the court.

Gelfand’s argument hinged on the government’s failure to seize Duggar’s internet router. If they had the router, he argued, experts could say for sure who downloaded the porn and where they were located when they watched it.

U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts responded by sharing an image of Duggar’s tiny, trash-strewn office on a rundown car lot surrounded by cow sheds and fields.

‘Does this look like the sort of place that would be the target of a high-end cyber-attack?’ he scoffed.

Duggar, the eldest of Jim Bob and Michelle’s nine daughters and ten sons, became a household name thanks to 19 Kids and Counting, which documented the devout Baptist family’s life in rural Tontitown, Arkansas.

TLC pulled the long-running reality series after more than 200 episodes in 2015 when In Touch Weekly published a historic police report revealing that Duggar had admitted to molesting five girls, including four of his sisters and a babysitter.

No criminal charges were ever brought because the allegations had passed the statute of limitations but Jim Bob conceded in a 2015 Fox News interview that they were true.

He was less forthcoming when he was subpoenaed last week to appear at a pre-trial evidentiary hearing, claiming he could barely remember his son’s confessions.

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‘The court rejects this testimony as self-serving, contradictory and lacking in credibility,’ Judge Brooks wrote afterwards.

Further scandals followed for Duggar as he was forced to apologize for cheating on Anna, who attended court every day of the trial. He also admitted to having an addiction to adult pornography.

‘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,’ Duggar said in a 2015 statement about his molestation issues.

‘I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.’ 

Inside Josh Duggar’s sordid past: How the father-of- seven – now found guilty of child porn crimes – confessed to molesting his own SISTERS, went to Christian rehab for sex addiction, and was accused of sexual assault by a porn star  By Carly Stern for DailyMail.com 

Arkansas native Josh Duggar has certainly seen a startling fall from grace since his family rose to fame on TLC, where cameras documented their lives as a large fundamentalist Christian family who followed a religious homeschool curriculum, dressed modestly, and eschewed contact with the opposite sex before marriage.

Josh Duggar lost his job in 2015 at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., a conservative lobbying group against abortion and gay marriage, after the molestation claims against him became public

Josh Duggar lost his job in 2015 at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., a conservative lobbying group against abortion and gay marriage, after the molestation claims against him became public

Josh came to be known to audiences as an obedient son and fervent Christian, who waited until his wedding day to share his first kiss with his wife Anna, 33.

But all the while Josh was hiding vile secrets, including how he molested five minors — including four of his sisters — when he was a teenager.

Even after his history of sexual abuse came to light in 2015 — in addition to his account on the adultery website Ashley Madison — Josh continued to expand his family with Anna, who welcomed their seventh child in October. 

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Now Josh, who has been convicted of downloading and watching sick recordings of children being sexually abused on his work computer, faces up to 40 years in prison and up to a $500,000 in fines.

The Duggar family’s first brush with fame came in 2004, when parents Jim Bob and Michelle — and their then 14 children — appeared in their first television special, 14 Children and Pregnant Again, on the Discovery Health Channel. 

The Duggars projected a wholesome image, and soon starred in three more TV specials that aired in 2006 and 2007. 

In 2008, TLC premiered 17 Kids and Counting, which would go on to be renamed twice to account for the births of the youngest Duggar kids: Jennifer, Jordyn, and Josie. 

During the specials and early episodes of the show, the Duggars shared details about their modesty standards and the strict rules they followed governing male and female behavior. 

Girls and women in the family were expected to cover up most of their skin, dressing exclusively in dresses and skirts and layering extra shirts under tops that dipped to low. 

Josh and his wife Anna have seven children, the oldest age 12 and the youngest under two months old

Josh and his wife Anna have seven children, the oldest age 12 and the youngest under two months old

In one episode, Michelle even had TLC blur her knees when they appeared on camera. In another, Jennifer — who was five or six years old at the time — was told by Jim Bob that her knee-length Hello Kitty dress, worn with tights, was too short and she needed to change.

They shared a family code word, ‘Nike,’ which would be uttered in the presence of an immodestly dressed woman — or an image of an immodestly dressed woman — to notify the boys to look down at their shoes.

Joy Anna, then just a little girl herself, demonstrated how it was her responsibility to cover the television screen to protect her brothers from seeing immodestly dressed women.

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While filming, Josh got engaged to Anna Keller, and on September 26, 2008, the pair tied the knot. They spoke openly about following strict courting rules, sharing limited contact like side-hugs before their marriage.

They even shared their first kiss for the altar in a moment that was captured in an episode of 17 Kids and Counting.

Just a year later, in October 2009, they welcomed their first daughter, Mackynzie. Mackynzie was soon followed by Michael in 2011 and Marcus in 2013.

All the while, though, the family was hiding a dark secret: that eldest son Josh had a history of molesting girls that had started before their first TV special. 

According to a 2006 police report unearthed by InTouch Weekly in 2015, Josh’s behavior was first discovered in March of 2002, when one of his youngest sisters went to Jim Bob ‘very upset and crying.’ 

Even as the Duggars rose to fame as a 'wholesome' Christian family, they were hiding the secret that Josh had molested five minors

Even as the Duggars rose to fame as a ‘wholesome’ Christian family, they were hiding the secret that Josh had molested five minors

Jim Bob and Michelle sent him for Christian counseling and didn't talk to police about it until an anonymous tip forced their hand

Jim Bob and Michelle sent him for Christian counseling and didn’t talk to police about it until an anonymous tip forced their hand

The sister said that Josh had been sneaking into the shared girls’ bedroom and touching her breasts and genitals while she slept on four or five occasions. Once, she woke up while he was taking a blanket away from her.

Josh then admitted to doing so when confronted by Jim Bob and was ‘disciplined,’ though Jim Bob didn’t reveal what the discipline entailed. 

In March of 2003, ‘there was another incident,’ according to the police report, with Josh being accused by several minors of similar sexual touching.  On one occasion, he was reading to a little sister on his lap and touched her breasts and vaginal area. On another, he cornered one of his sisters in the laundry room and put his hand under her dress. 

In court for Josh’s trial this week and last, family friend Bobye Holt revealed more details from the time. 

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She said that her daughter had been dating Josh it was first discovered that he had molested his sisters, at which time the relationship was broken off.

According to Bobye, in March of 2003, Josh admitted to touching the girls, including his then-five-year-old sister during bible time. 

Then in 2005 he shared more details about what had happened. She recalled: ‘When she was sitting on his lap he put his hand under her pantaloons and under her panties.’ 

While filming, Josh got engaged to Anna Keller. The pair had strict rules governing physical contact before they married

While filming, Josh got engaged to Anna Keller. The pair had strict rules governing physical contact before they married

On September 26, 2008, the pair tied the knot. They shared their first kiss on their wedding day

On September 26, 2008, the pair tied the knot. They shared their first kiss on their wedding day

Josh and Anna pictured with Mike Huckabee, who defended Josh after the molestation came to light in 2015

Josh and Anna pictured with Mike Huckabee, who defended Josh after the molestation came to light in 2015

Bobye also said that Josh ‘went to [one of the girls] as she was sleeping and got up under her blanket to start touching her and she woke up and hit him.’

Yet when Bobye told Jim Bob and Michelle, she said, ‘They said they didn’t want to hear it.’ 

Jim Bob and Michelle did not initially go to the police, keeping the molestation allegations and Josh’s confessions a secret until a tip was made to the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline about Josh’s behavior and forced their hand.  

Finally speaking to police on Dec. 12, 2006, Jim Bob said when he learned about what his son was doing, he ‘met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.’

They suggested a particular treatment program at Vista Hospital, but Jim Bob was concerned that Josh would be ‘exposed to other offenders and other things they did not want him exposed to. 

Instead, they sent Josh to a Christian program that consisted of ‘hard physical work and counseling from March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003.

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Jim Bob and Michelle also told the local police that Josh had ‘apologized’ to his victims and said they had ‘forgiven’ him, and when he came home they believed the issue had been ‘resolved.’

When Josh came home from the Christian counseling program, his parents had him talk to Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who gave him a ‘very stern talk.’ 

Will she forgive again? Anna has stayed by his side and spoken out about 'redemption'

Will she forgive again? Anna has stayed by his side and spoken out about ‘redemption’

'Your gratitude for redemption through JESUS and striving to please HIM above all!' Anna wrote

‘Your gratitude for redemption through JESUS and striving to please HIM above all!’ Anna wrote 

Hutchens, 75, was later imprisoned on child pornography charges of his own, and has been in jail since 2007. He was sentences to 56 years. 

When the police report describing Josh’s transgressions was made public in 2015, two of his sisters — Jill, 30, and Jessa, 29 — identified themselves as two of his victims. Later, in 2017, Jinger and Joy Anna were identified as the other victims in a lawsuit.  

Jim Bob, Michelle, Jill, and Jessa all sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly to discuss what happened — and some viewers were left alarmed by the way the parents tried to minimize their son’s behavior.

‘He was still a kid, you know, and he was still a juvenile. He wasn’t an adult,’ Jim Bob said. ‘Kids will make their own choices. 

‘[Josh] had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes while they were sleeping,’ he went on, adding that there were ‘a couple incidents where he touched them under their clothes, but it was, like, a few seconds.

‘God can forgive [Josh] for these terrible things, I hope other people realize God can forgive them and also make them a new creature,’ he said. 

He also seemed to imply that a brother molesting his sisters was common, saying: ‘We talked to other parents and different ones since then, a lot of families have said that they’ve had similar things happen in their families.’ 

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‘I think we had one ray of hope, in that Josh had a tender conscience,’ Michelle said.

They continued to reproduce. In 2017, they welcomed a son named Mason, followed by a daughter named Maryella in 2019

They continued to reproduce. In 2017, they welcomed a son named Mason, followed by a daughter named Maryella in 2019

They also insisted that they had ‘put safeguards in our home’ to prevent something similar from happening again. Boys were not allowed to babysit or run off with girls during hide-and-seek, and ‘little ones don’t sit on big boys’ laps, or people you don’t know, or even family members, unless it’s your daddy,’ said Michelle.

The revelation that Josh had sexually abused his sisters certainly dominated headlines, but it wasn’t to be the last time he was in the spotlight year.

Months later, when hackers released information about account-holders for the adultery website Ashely Madison, Josh was found to be among them. 

Soon after, he released a statement confessing not just to adultery but to a ‘secret addiction’ to pornography.

‘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 became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,’ he wrote. 

‘I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family. 

Whoops! He was then discovered to have an account on the adultery website Ashley Madison

Whoops! He was then discovered to have an account on the adultery website Ashley Madison

‘I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust. 

‘The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings. As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example.

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‘I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Please pray for my precious wife Anna and our family during this time,’ he concluded. 

Porn star Danica Dillon then sued Josh for allegedly assaulting her during sex, but the lawsuit was later dropped. 

The dual scandals led to TLC canceling the family’s show, 19 Kids and Counting. Josh also lost his job at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., a conservative lobbying group against abortion and gay marriage. 

After, there was speculation about whether his wife, Anna, would leave him. Her brother Daniel bashed Josh, writing on social media: ‘Confessing and getting caught are two different things. You want to know what happens when you cover ur sin maybe you should go read ur bible instead of beating people over the head with it.’

He also said he told Anna that he would pay for her and her children to move in with him, but Anna declined. 

In the midst of the scandals, they welcomed their fourth child, Meredith.

For some time, Josh was absent from social media — and went away to another Christian counseling program while his wife and children moved in with his parents.

But Anna has publicly forgiven him, in the past few years has returned to sharing fawning Facebook posts about her husband.

‘Redemption is a beautiful thing!’ she told a fan on Instagram who commented on Josh’s presence in photos. 

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On his birthday one year, Anna also wrote an effusive Instagram post singing his praises, saying: ‘Your gratitude for redemption through JESUS and striving to please HIM above all!’

She continued: ‘Joshua, YOU are a TREASURE and I look forward to growing old — TOGETHER.’

She also clearly forgave him privately. In 2017, they welcomed a son named Mason, followed by a daughter named Maryella in 2019. 

And in October, Anna gave birth to their seventh child, Madyson.

But despite the family pushing Josh’s redemptive arc, the eldest Duggar child has not only continued his deviant behavior, but done much worse. 

In April, he was taken into custody in Springdale, Arkansas after turning himself in on charges of receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children. 

According to the indictment, he is alleged to have ‘knowingly received’ child sexual abuse material online in May 2019. Some of the child pornography material he is accused of possessing shows children under the age of 12. 

Josh’s arrest followed a Homeland Security raid on his now-closed car dealership, Wholesale Motorcars, in Springdale, Arkansas back in November 2019.  

He was not charged at the time. 

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He is also currently in the midst of a separate legal battle after a civil lawsuit was filed against him for real estate fraud. 

After the arrest, Josh’s parents released a statement reading: ‘We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious.

‘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.’

His sister Jinger also wrote on Instagram that she and her husband Jeremy Vuolo were ‘disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh.’

‘While the case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice.’ 

Jill’s husband, Derick Dillard, also told People: ‘We just found out this information yesterday. It is very sad.’

Derick has been outspoken in accusing TLC of exploiting the victims of Josh’s abuse, and also slamming her father for his treatment of Jill. 

TLC, meanwhile, also released a statement that it is ‘saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving’ Josh, but stressed that he has not appeared on air since 2015. However, they later canceled Counting On, the show that replaced 19 Kids and Counting. 

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