Former 19 Kids and Counting star and Arkansas State Senate hopeful Jim Bob Duggar addressed his son Josh Duggar‘s guilty verdict in his child pornography trial amid his run for office. 

“As a father, I am heartbroken over the entire situation regarding my son, all who have been affected by it in any way, and those who have been harmed through CSAM,” Jim Bob, 56, shared on Facebook on December 11, two days after a federal jury found his eldest son, 33, guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography

“As an American, I respect our legal system and am thankful for those who serve in it. As a Christian, I put all of my trust in Christ in both the joyful and difficult moments of life,” the former reality TV star continued. “As your state senator, I promise to remain an unwavering conservative voice representing our great community in Little Rock. Thank you for your prayers and support.”

During Josh’s child pornography trial, which lasted six days, long-time family friend Bobye Holt took the stand for the prosecution. During her testimony, Bobye claimed Josh confessed to molesting young girls, including four of his sisters, while he was a teenager.

In 2015, In Touch obtained a police report from 2006 through the Freedom of Information Act. According to the report, Josh inappropriately touched five underage girls. Two of Josh’s sisters, Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and Jessa Seewald (née Duggar,) came forward as two of his victims during an interview with Megyn Kelly in June 2015. 

When asked about the police report, Jim Bob told Judge Timothy L. Brooks during an evidentiary hearing on November 29, “I can’t remember,” according to People

“We were shocked this had happened, but we were thankful he came on his own and told us,” Jim Bob said at the time, after having silently read a copy of the police report. 

“We tried to handle things in house,” the father of 20 added. “It was a very difficult time in our family’s life.” 

Following Josh’s guilty verdict, Jim Bob and his wife Michelle Duggar shared a statement via their family blog, stating the “entire ordeal has been very grievous.”

“In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna [Duggar] and their children with love and support,” Jim Bob and Michelle, 55, stated, referring to Josh’s wife, with whom he shares seven children, all aged 12 and under. “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.”

While Josh awaited his trial, Jim Bob updated his campaign website with a message blasting “fake news” in November. 

“Like so many other families, we too have faced crises, difficulties, and heartbreak,” the website reads. “‘Cancel culture’ and the radical left want to keep us from being involved in politics.”

The special primary will be held on December 14, where Jim Bob will face three other Republican candidatesColby FulferEdge Nowlin, and Steven Unger. One of these four will advance to the special general election scheduled for February 8 against the district’s Democratic primary winner.

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