Former reality TV star Josh Duggar returned to federal court on Wednesday, where a judge sentenced him to 12.5 years in prison for child pornography.
Judge Timothy L. Brooks sentenced Duggar to a total of 151 months in prison.
Prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence of 20 years for Duggar, while his lawyers are asking for him to serve five years in prison.
According to People magazine, Duggar’s father, Jim Bob, and his wife, Anna, were seated in the front row of the court as his sentencing was transmitted.
According to the publication, when not taking notes on Wednesdays, Duggar often turns around and smiles at his wife.
Duggar, whose large family is the focus of the TLC reality show 19 Children and Numbers, was found guilty of downloading and possessing child pornography last December. (On Wednesday, his December sentence was reduced and Duggar was convicted of one count of knowingly receiving child pornography.)
Josh Duggar convicted of child pornography, faces 20 years in prison
TLC canceled 19 Children and Numbers in 2015 after it was revealed he had sexually abused his four sisters and a babysitter. Authorities began investigating the abuse in 2006 after receiving a tip from a family friend.
However, they concluded that the statute of limitations for any possible charges had expired.
Duggar’s parents said he confessed to the assault and apologized. At the time, Duggar apologized publicly for the unspecified behavior and resigned as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.
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Duggar later apologized for his porn addiction and cheating on his wife, calling himself “the biggest hypocrite ever”.
The judge in the child pornography case ruled that juries could hear testimony about how in 2003 Duggar admitted to sexually harassing four girls. A family friend testified that Duggar had told her about the abuse.
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Federal authorities say they began an investigation after a Little Rock police detective found child pornography files being shared by a computer tracing Duggar. In May last year, a federal agent testified that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded to a computer in 2019 at an umbrella dealership. that Duggar owned.
Duggar’s attorney argued that someone uploaded or uploaded the images onto Duggar’s computer. But the jury was not shaken.
Jim Bob, Duggar’s father, who also stars on the reality show, is running in a special election for an vacated state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas, and the primaries in the race That race is on Tuesday. He previously served in Arkansas House.
Duggar maintained his innocence and said he would appeal.
– With files from the Associated Press
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