Update 4:00 PM EST: “We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh,” said Jinger Vuolo (née Duggar) said in a statement posted to her Instagram. “While this 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.”
Update 3:00 PM EST: “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said in a statement issued on their website. “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.”
Original: 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, 33, has been charged with receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material after his April 29 arrest, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Arkansas. Duggar is accused of allegedly downloading child pornography that depicts the sexual abuse of children under the ages of 12, in May of 2019, the indictment, obtained by HollywoodLife, states.
Duggar’s lawyers said in a statement to HollywoodLife: “Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”
Duggar faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 on each count, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. Duggar pled not guilty in court via Zoom on April 30. His attorneys asked the judge that his charges not be read out to the court. Duggar remains at an Arkansas detention center as he awaits a bond hearing.
If awarded bail, Judge Erin L. Wiedemann said Duggar will have to stay “in a residence where there’s no minor in the home.” Duggar is the father of six minor children with wife Anna Duggar. Anna, 32, announced just days before the arrest that she’s pregnant with their seventh child. Duggar is scheduled for a detention hearing on May 5.
In 2015, Josh confessed to molesting four of his younger sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager. By that time, the statute of limitations for prosecution had run out. He said in a statement that year, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation.
“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,” he continued. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” The family’s reality show, 19 Kids and Counting, was canceled by TLC in July 2015 after 10 seasons.
One month later, Josh revealed that he had a porn addiction, which had caused him to be “unfaithful” to wife Anna. “I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living,” he said in a statement, apologizing for the “pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family.” He entered a faith-based rehab center in Illinois and completed treatment in March 2016.