Josh Duggar Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Prison for Child Pornography
By Paige Gawley Tionah Lee
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Josh Duggar has been sentenced to 151 months -- which is more than 12 years --in his child pornography case. On Wednesday, Judge Timothy L. Brooks handed down Josh's sentence, more than five months after the 34-year-old former reality star was found guilty on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography.
One of Josh's previous charges was also dropped with agreement between both the defense and prosecution. The court vacated count 2 without prejudice. Judge Brooks ruled that Josh did not knowingly distribute pornography, and sustained the defense's objection to the enhancement of Josh's sentence. Josh's team requested that he spend five years in prison, while the prosecution requested the maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Josh's wife, Anna Duggar, and his father, Jim Bob, were inside the courtroom during sentencing.
Earlier this month, Josh's legal team submitted a memorandum to the court, which was obtained by ET. In the docs, Josh's lawyers requested a sentence of 60 months' imprisonment. Josh was facing up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 per count.
In the court docs, Josh's lawyers said he'd "lived an admirable life while navigating unique challenges associated with being in the public spotlight since childhood," and asked the court to "recognize him for the person he is and the person he can become."
They went on to state that, prior to his conviction, Josh had "never been charged with, let alone convicted of, a single criminal offense throughout his entire life."
They added that the father of seven, who's been married to his wife, Anna Duggar, since 2008, has been "fully devoted to his family, and exemplified selfless acts outside of the public spotlight that speak to his true character."
To try and show this claim, Anna wrote a letter to the court, which ET obtained. In it, she asked the judge that he "consider reuniting us as a family again soon."
"Joshua has worked hard to provide for me and our (now) seven children. But the happiest part of the day by far is when Daddy comes home from work," Anna wrote in part. "... Joshua is an engaged dad who gladly throws a football with his sons, listens to our daughters play a new song they have learned on the piano, helps answer homework questions, or lends a hand sweeping up spilled crackers. He is a kind, loving, supportive, and caring father and husband -- his primary focus in life."
Anna added, "Joshua is surrounded by people who will encourage him to continue to become the best man, father, and employer he can be."
Josh's brother-in-law, neighbor, father-in-law, and more also wrote letters on his behalf, as did his mom, Michelle Duggar. In Michelle's letter, which ET obtained, she wrote that her son "has a tender heart and... is compassionate toward others."
"Joshua is a loving and patient man, striving to be a blessing provide for his family!" she wrote. "... I stand ready to offer my continued love and encouragement to Joshua and his family and for their success in the future -- together! We ask that he be reunited with his wife and family in a timely manner."
According to court documents previously obtained by ET, Josh allegedly downloaded files which contained images of sexual abuse of children under the age of 12 on his work computer at a used car dealership. The Associated Press reported that the defense argued that the images could have been accessed remotely or added to Josh's device by another party.
The jury sided with the prosecution, convicting Josh on both counts. At the time, the prosecution said they were "very pleased" with the verdict and called it a "significant milestone." The prosecution also said, "No person is above the law no matter their status or fame." Josh's attorney said that they plan to appeal "in appropriate time."