The controversies and criminal charges against “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar have led to two canceled television series. But, will the recent charges also lead to a prison sentence? What can we expect in the trial of Josh Duggar?
What Are the Charges Against Josh Duggar?
At one time, Josh Duggar represented wholesome, middle America as the eldest child in a family of 19 living in Arkansas. Starring in the TLC reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting,” Duggar showed America what it was like to live a life filled with faith and close family ties and values. But, not anymore.
In April 2021, Duggar was arrested on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.
Back in 2019, the Arkansas car dealership where Duggar worked was raided by Homeland Security. At the time, there wasn’t much information about the raid. Homeland Security only said it was a part of an “ongoing investigation.” It took almost two years for the results of the raid to lead to the arrest of Duggar.
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas stated that Duggar used the internet to download material that depicts the abuse of children under the age of 12. Prosecutors estimate that Duggar had more than 200 images of children on his computer.
A History of Bad Behavior
This isn’t the first time Duggar has made the news for bad behavior.
In May 2015, an uncovered 2006 police report revealed that Duggar had been investigated for inappropriately touching five underage girls when he was a teenager. Two of his sisters later came out as two of his victims.
A few months later, in August 2015, it was reported that the married Duggar appeared to have active accounts on Ashley Madison, a website designed to help spouses cheat on their partner.
Following both of these allegations, Duggar made a public apology on the Duggar family website and confessed to having a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife.
Duggar’s statement read, “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.“
Duggar faced no legal consequences for these incidents, and shortly after these reports, the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting” was canceled after airing from 2008 to 2015.
Shortly after the flagship Duggar show was cancelled, TLC launched “Counting On,” a show which continued to follow Dugger’s family and focused on his sisters. After the recent charges against the eldest Duggar, TLC also canceled the “Counting On.”
What’s The Current Status of Duggar’s Case?
Duggar was arrested for a crime, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and has been released on bond.
The father of six, with another child on the way, is said to be staying with family friends. Under the terms of his bail, he is not allowed to be around minors and can only see his children under the supervision of his wife, Anna Duggar.
He is now awaiting an upcoming trial.
The trial was scheduled for July 6 but was pushed back to November 30 at the request of Duggar’s attorneys. Duggar’s team said they need more time to get computer forensic experts to review the case evidence.
What Are the Potential Outcomes for the Trial of Josh Duggar?
As of now, Duggar is standing by his statement that he is not guilty. This statement means he will likely go to trial in November.
Duggar faces two counts, each coming with a potential sentence of up to 20 years of imprisonment and $250,000 in fines. When combined, the charges mean Duggar could be facing up to 40 years behind bars.
One option for Duggar is to make a plea deal to try and get a reduced sentence. If Duggar aims to make a plea deal, he will need to:
- Admit that he understands the charges against him
- Admit that the conduct is punishable by law
- Give up his right to a jury trial
- Admit that he understands the consequences and accepts his sentencing
It remains to be seen how Duggar’s criminal defense team will approach his case. With the trial extension, they may be working on creating a defense to the charges. Or, they could also be working on making a plea that will try to limit Duggar’s time in prison.
Awaiting Duggar’s Day In Court
Public cases like this are difficult. The circumstances are disturbing, and the case is often tried in the media and public opinion before a trial takes place. But, Duggar will get his day in court to have a fair trial to get to the truth and face the consequences of his actions.