“Anna has seven children with Josh, the older ones know that [he] did a terrible thing and is being punished for it,” a source exclusively tells In Touch.
A federal jury found Josh, 33, guilty of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography on Thursday, December 9, after a six-day trial. He faces up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines for each count.
Prosecutors claimed that some of the images and videos found on devices allegedly used by Josh were of children under the age of 12. Anna, 33, and Josh’s seven children, Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, Mason, Maryella and Madyson, are aged 12 and below. The youngest, Madyson, was born in October.
Anna supported the former 19 Kids and Counting star throughout his trial and frequently held his hand as they entered and exited the courthouse. According to In Touch‘s insider, the Duggar family stands by Anna.
“The Duggar family doesn’t blame Anna,” a source told In Touch on December 9. “[Jim Bob Duggar] and [Michelle Duggar], and most of the kids, are standing by her. She’s family, they’ll support Anna. … They’re here for her now more than ever.”
During the trial, a once long-time friend of the Duggar family, Bobye Holt, took the stand for the prosecution. During her testimony, Bobye stated Josh confessed to molesting young girls while he was a teenager.
In Touch obtained a police report from 2006 through the Freedom of Information Act in 2015. The report revealed Josh inappropriately touched five underage girls. 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.
Jill, 30, was present during the home birth of Josh’s eldest, Mackynzie. She was 18 at the time.
“[Anna will] stay close to the Duggar family for now, but her parents and siblings, the Kellers, have been rallying around her as well,” the insider says. “She considers the Duggars her family, but she could eventually decide to distance herself from them.”
In 2015, Josh faced a public cheating scandal after it was discovered that he used AshleyMadison.com, a site known for promoting infidelity. The disgraced reality star went on to reveal he was unfaithful to Anna, and he had an addiction to pornography. At the time, one of Anna’s brothers, Daniel Keller, offered to pay Anna to leave Josh.
“I have told her, I would pay for her to move out here [with] me and pay for her [kids],” he wrote on Facebook. He went on to criticize his parents for encouraging Anna to stay with her husband, suggesting they were worried about how a divorce would make them look rather than “trying to truly get [Josh] some help and getting Anna and the kids out of there [until] he has gotten that help.”
He added, “I told her I would go get her and her children. … She said she’s staying where she’s at. But I won’t stop trying to get that pig out of our family.”
Following the announcement of the guilty verdict on December 9, Josh was immediately placed in handcuffs. Before he was taken into custody, he told his wife that he “loved” her, according to a report from The Sun.
The eldest child of the Arkansas State Senate hopeful, 56, and Michelle, 55, was arrested on April 29 and pleaded not guilty the following day. Josh “allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas shared in a press release at the time. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
Josh currently remains in custody while awaiting sentencing.
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