Josh Duggar Sentenced to More Than 12 Years in Federal Prison for Child Pornography Conviction

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks handed down the sentence of 151 months in total to the former 19 Kids and Counting star on Wednesday

Josh Duggar has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison and ordered to pay fines and special assessments of $50,100.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks handed down the sentence of 151 months in total to the 34-year-old former 19 Kids and Counting star on Wednesday at the Western District of Arkansas Federal Courthouse in Fayetteville.

Duggar remained stoic when the news was delivered, continuing to take notes on a legal pad for future legal proceedings. He did not address the court during sentencing.

Duggar's lead defense attorney Justin Gelfand stated his legal team would be filing a notice of appeal within the 14 days required by law and looked forward to litigating the one remaining count on appeal. They stated earlier in the day that Duggar maintains his innocence.

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After the sentencing, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas David Clay Fowlkes, backed by the prosecution team and special agents, made a statement on behalf of the government: "This isn't the sentence we asked for, but it is a sentence we're proud of."

Fowlkes said he hoped this trial sends a message to the victims of child pornography that "they are real. Their pain is real. And we will do everything within our power to make sure justice is served."

After his release from prison, Duggar will require the supervision of a parole office for 20 years and is prohibited from any unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children with wife Anna.

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Josh Duggar. Kris Connor/Getty

Duggar also must must participate in sex offender treatment and may not access or view pornography of any kind, including adult pornography.

He is not allowed any computer or electronic devices capable of photographic storage or internet access without prior approval by his probation officer, and internet-monitoring software must be added to any devices he possesses.

The post-release stipulation also includes random searches for Duggar, who is prohibited from obtaining a medical marijuana card allowed and must submit to periodic polygraph testing at his probation officer's discretion.

Duggar's legal team objected to the ban on adult pornography and on the polygraph testing, but Judge Brooks overruled both objections.

Josh's father, Jim Bob, Anna, his siblings Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth and Jason Duggar were present to support him.

After her husband's sentence was announced, Anna, 33, left the court room without acknowledging her father-in-law, 56.

Ahead of Duggar's sentencing, he was found guilty in December of two charges of knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography.

On Wednesday, with the agreement of both the defense and prosecution, the court vacated the conviction on count 2 without prejudice. Judge Brooks noted that possession is a lesser included offense of the receipt of child pornography.

Judge Brooks further ruled that Josh did not knowingly distribute pornography and sustained the defense's objection to that potential enhancement to Duggar's sentence.

As a result of Wednesday's vacation, Josh was facing up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines total (he previously faced that potential maximum sentence for each conviction).

Homeland Security arrested Duggar on April 29, 2021, for receiving and possessing child pornography. He was then held without bond in an Arkansas jail before being released one week later to designated third-party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber.

Though the judge said she "cannot in good conscience" release Duggar to his then-pregnant wife Anna and their six children, he was granted "unlimited contact" to visit them provided that Anna was present. He was prohibited from seeing any other underage children, including his many nieces and nephews. (Anna gave birth to their seventh child last November.)

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Leading to Duggar's convictions, prosecutors presented evidence that Duggar repeatedly downloaded and viewed child pornography from a hidden part of his work computer in May 2019.

The sentencing trial was originally set for April 5 but Judge Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court granted Duggar's request to delay the hearing.

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Josh Duggar in 2014. D Dipasupil/Getty

Leading up to Wednesday's sentencing, members of Duggar's family spoke out both in favor and against the former reality star.

His mother, Michelle, wrote a letter to Judge Brooks asking for leniency in his sentencing because "Joshua has a tender heart and he is compassionate toward others."

Anna also wrote a letter to Judge Brooks calling her husband a "loving, supportive and caring father," which prompted cousin Amy (Duggar) King to issue her own statement to PEOPLE, which began: "I don't think anyone would make the mistake of assuming I support my cousin."

In addition to her anger at Josh himself, she wrote, "I am furious at the family that looked the other way and still today, refuse to hold him accountable."

Amy, who later wrote an open letter urging Anna to divorce Josh, concluded her statement to PEOPLE: "In my opinion, 20 years could never come close to justice for the children harmed. ... My heart hurts for his children during this time."

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