Josh Duggar’s sister and brother-in-law, Jill and Derick Dillard, say they are relieved that he has finally been held ‘accountable’ after the 34-year-old was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison on Wednesday for possession of child pornography.
The Dillards released a statement on their blog on Thursday, the day after the eldest son of Christian reality TV parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar was sentenced to 151 months in prison.
The former ‘Counting On’ stars are ‘grateful’ the case is ‘finally over’, but stressed the sentencing is part of God’s ‘revenge’.
The Duggars, a conservative Christian family from Arkansas, have been featured on the television shows “19 Kids and Counting” and “Counting On.” In 2021, authorities found child pornography images on a computer at a dealership owned by Josh Duggar. Investigators accused Duggar of having more than 200 images of child pornography on his devices “ranging from approximately 18 months to 12 years old”.
Duggar pleaded not guilty to the charges and his defense claimed someone else was responsible for the illegal files on the computer. Investigators argue that Duggar’s claim is unlikely.
The judge denied a defense motion for a new trial on Tuesday. In addition to the prison sentence, the father of seven children will have to pay fines amounting to $50,100 and undergo 20 years of parole after his release.
He also cannot have unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children. He will be required to undergo sex offender treatment and is prohibited from viewing pornography of any kind.
The Dillards, who married in 2014, said they were “neither delighted nor disappointed” by his brother’s prison sentence.
“The past few weeks and months have been emotionally difficult. Yesterday was another one of those difficult days,” they wrote.
“The Bible clearly states that God [affects] justice and vengeance through government authorities,” the Dillards added. “Although some believe Josh should have received a heavier sentence and even fewer believe he should have received a lighter sentence, God wreaked vengeance today. today for his unspeakable criminal activity.”
“To date, he has yet to be held accountable to the extent necessary to cause a change in his dangerous behavior,” the Dillards continued. “It’s unfortunate, but it looks like it may take more than a decade in federal prison, and even more on probation, for Josh to have rehab potential to the point where he can live a full life again. security in society.
The couple hope Duggar can “get treatment and start living a lifestyle where he’s less likely to reoffend.”
“If for nothing else, the notoriety of this case has hopefully contributed to the deterrence of potential offenders and will help protect children by decreasing the demand for CSAM,” the statement concluded. “We continue to love Josh and his family and will be there for them any way we can.”
After the verdict, Josh Duggar’s defense attorney said in a statement that he was “grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and denied the government’s request for a 240-month sentence.”
Duggar will be on parole for 20 years after his release and will not be able to have unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children.
In 2015, it was revealed that Duggar previously admitted to molesting his sisters when they were younger. The revelation led to the cancellation of “19 Kids and Counting”.
Duggar’s cousin, Amy King, told Celebuzz she thought the 12.5-year sentence “wasn’t enough”.
“I hope every second he’s there is an eternity,” she said.
King, the outspoken daughter of Jim Bob Duggar’s sister, posted a video reaction to Instagram on Wednesday night.
“I knew he wasn’t going to be the easiest to prove because it’s his first offense in the eyes of the judge – which I hate – but at the same time he can’t have his computer, he can’t make of bad [and] no longer exploits children and when he sees his children he needs to be watched,” she said.
“Josh’s illness comes from somewhere, and eventually we’ll hear about the trauma. I don’t know when or how or who, but I think others will come out. But hopefully tonight I can sleeping for the first time and Rest assured that another monster will be put behind bars, it eases my heart a little.”