Josh Duggar's Mom Michelle Says He Has a 'Tender Heart' in Request for Leniency Ahead of Sentencing

Josh Duggar was found guilty on two charges for knowingly obtaining and owning child pornography in December

Josh Duggar, Michelle Duggar
Photo: Danny Johnston/AP/Shutterstock; Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Michelle Duggar is asking a federal judge for leniency in sentencing her son Josh Duggar, who was convicted on child pornography charges in December.

In a letter to Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court, Michelle wrote that she wanted to "share some things about Joshua's character that may not be fully known to the court" ahead of his sentencing, which is scheduled for May 25.

The Duggar matriarch, 55, added that she hopes "a fair and just sentence is determined."

She also detailed her son's positive attributes in the character reference, writing, "Joshua has a tender heart and he is compassionate toward others."

She continued, "If someone is having a difficult time, he is one of the first to encourage or try to help them in a tangible way. He and his wife and children have helped many others by doing cleaning and repair projects and lending a helping hand."

josh duggar
Josh Duggar. Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock

"Joshua has always been a positive and upbeat person," she wrote. "He is wise financially — saving money for the future and purposing not to go into debt. He is a good provider for his family, working diligently and thinking of creative ways to support and take care of his wife and children. He is also generous and shares his resources with others in need."

Michelle called her son "organized and diligent individual" who "has set a good example of applying himself eagerly to his work and in many other responsibilities that he carries as a husband and father."

She also shared Josh's commitment to spending time with his wife Anna Duggar and their children, writing, they have "have built forts, learned how to work on bicycles and other vehicles, gone camping, hiked, fished, and played countless games and sports — together!"

Josh and Anna Duggar
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Michelle concluded the letter by requesting that Josh be "reunited with his wife and family in a timely manner," and signing it by dotting the "i" in Michelle with a heart.

Josh was arrested in April 2021 for receiving and possessing child pornography. In December, he was found guilty on two charges for knowingly obtaining and owning the material. He faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for the crime.

At the time of Josh's verdict, many of his family members reacted to the news, including his sister Jill (Duggar) Dillard and her husband Derick Dillard.

"Today was difficult for our family. Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation," a statement posted on the Dillard family website read.

"We are thankful for the hard work of law enforcement, including investigators, forensic analysts, prosecutors, and all others involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse," their joint statement continued. "Nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor. Today, the people of the Western District of Arkansas made that clear in their verdict."

Derick Dillard, Josh Duggar, Jill (Duggar) Dillard
Derick Dillard, Josh Duggar, Jill (Duggar) Dillard. youtube (2); shutterstock

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Josh's conviction was only the latest in a series of personal scandals that rocked his family: The reality show that first made them all famous was canceled in 2015 after a 2006 police report was released revealing he had been investigated in connection with accusations that he had molested four younger girls when he was a boy and teenager.

Later in 2015, he also admitted to having a pornography addiction and being "unfaithful" in his marriage.

A spin-off of 19 Kids and Counting that followed his siblings, called Counting On, was canceled after his arrest on the child pornography charges.

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