Josh Duggar’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have broken their silence after he was convicted of child pornography possession on Dec. 9. In a statement issued to E! News on Thursday, Jim Bob and Michelle called the ordeal “grievous” and said they will “never stop praying” for their son, 33.
“This entire ordeal has been very grievous,” their statement began. “Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material].”
The couple said they will continue to support Josh’s wife Anna, who recently welcomed their seventh child in October. “In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support,” the statement continued.
Jim Bob, 56, and Michelle, 55, concluded, “As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children. In each of life’s circumstances, we place our trust in God. He is our source of strength and refuge. Thank you for your prayers.”
A federal jury in Fayetteville, Arkansas found Josh guilty on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography on Thursday. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count, according to AP.
Clay Fowlkes, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, said in a statement, per AP, “Regardless of wealth, social status, or fame, our office will continue to seek out all individuals who seek to abuse children and victimize them through the downloading, possession, and sharing of child pornography.” Sentencing will begin in about four months.
Josh, known for starring in the TLC reality TV series 19 Kids and Counting, was charged in April for child pornography possession. A federal agent testified that images of children, including toddlers, depicting sexual abuse were found on a computer at a car dealership that Josh owned in 2019. The reality star pleaded not guilty.
Prior to the child pornography trial, the family made headlines when TLC cancelled 19 Kids and Counting in 2015 after it was reported that Josh molested five girls, four of which were his sisters, while he was a teenager. Josh confirmed that the reports in a statement issued to PEOPLE after the cancellation, revealing that he confessed to his parents and received counseling.
Dillard Family Statement On Josh Duggar Verdict Today https://t.co/MlTr5uRSf6
— Jill (Duggar)Dillard (@jillmdillard) December 9, 2021
On Thursday, Josh’s sister Jill, one of his siblings he abused, and her husband Derick Dillard called the guilty verdict “just” in a lengthy statement on the family website. “Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation,” the statement 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.”
“Our hearts are sensitive to the pains Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children have already endured and will continue to process in the future,” it continued. “This trial has felt more like a funeral than anything else. Josh’s family has a long road ahead. We stand with them, we are praying for them, and we will seek to support them however we can during this dark time.”