Josh Duggar has pleaded not guilty to two charges of child pornography and awaits trial in July

By Eric Todisco
May 09, 2021 04:00 PM
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Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth and her husband, Austin Forsyth, have broken their silence regarding the child pornography charges brought against her brother, Josh Duggar.

On Saturday, Joy-Anna, 23, issued a statement on her Instagram Story on behalf of herself and Austin, 27, in which the Counting On star addressed the controversy surrounding Josh, 33. (Josh was arrested on April 29 and has pleaded not guilty to two charges: one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.)

"The recent accusations brought against Josh sadden us to our core," their statement read. "We have not wanted to be hasty in making any statements while trying to process the news ourselves. We are especially heartbroken by the reality that there are children in the world being harmed and exploited."

"We ask for prayer for all those involved," the couple added, "and it is our continued prayer that the truth comes to light."

Joy Forsyth, JOsh Duggar
Credit: Joy Forsyth/Instagram; Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock
Joy DUggar Forsyth
Credit: Joy Forsyth/Instagram

On Thursday, Josh was released from jail and was seen leaving the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in a video captured by local news stations..

During a virtual hearing on Wednesday, a judge ruled that Josh would be released from custody provided that he must remain with third party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber, and be confined to their home with GPS tracking.

Josh was also granted "unlimited contact" with his six children — Maryella Hope, 17 months, Mason Garrett, 3½, Meredith Grace, 5½, Marcus Anthony, 7½, Michael James, 9½, and Mackynzie Renée, 11 — so long as his pregnant wife Anna Duggar is present.

Josh may not see any other minor child, including his nieces and nephews.

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Anna and Josh Duggar

While most of Josh's family has stayed mum on the controversy, a source recently told PEOPLE that his sister Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and her husband Jeremy Vuolo are "horrified and disgusted" over the child pornography charges.

"Being a family themselves, the idea of these kinds of charges against Josh are a horrific thing. Jinger is having a hard time coping with it," the source said.

Josh faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each of the two counts if he is convicted, making his total possible sentence 40 years, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Arkansas.

His pretrial hearing is set for July 1, while the trial is scheduled to begin on July 6.

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Josh Duggar
| Credit: Kris Connor/Getty

Josh, the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 kids, has faced various legal battles and controversies over the years.

In May 2015, Josh apologized for his "wrongdoing" following the release of a 2006 police report that revealed he had been investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls. His sisters Jill, 29, and Jessa, 28, subsequently stepped forward as two of the victims.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.