Josh Duggar, known for his family’s reality show, TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, has been sentenced to 12 years and seventh months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, the Associated Press reports.
That sentencing comes as prosecutors sought the maximum 20 years, noting his “deep-seated, pervasive, and violent sexual interest in children” as well as “a willingness to act on that interest” in their pre-sentencing court filing. “There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the steps necessary to change this pattern of behavior and address his predilection for minor females,” they also said.
Duggar was arrested in April 2021 for sharing child porn files as well as “images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers.” Duggar was also accused of molesting four of his sisters and a babysitter, accusations which were investigated in 2006 but not pursued do to the statute of limitations. However, they did lead to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting in 2015. (The series premiered in 2008.)
The 12-and-a-half-year sentence comes as Duggar’s lawyers requested five years, saying in their sentencing memorandum, “Duggar accepts that he is before this Court for sentencing and that this Court must impose a penalty. That is justice. But Duggar also appeals to this Court’s discretion to temper that justice with mercy.”
Duggar maintains his innocence.