Judge Timothy L. Brooks delivered his sentencing remarks for the disgraced former 19 Kids and Counting star, 34, on Wednesday, May 25, just five months after being convicted of one count of receiving and one count of possessing child pornography images.
During the proceedings, Judge Brooks ruled that Duggar did not knowingly distribute child pornography, dropping one of the two charges. Moreover, Judge Brooks will recommend optional sex offender treatment for Duggar, according to The Sun. Duggar will either serve his sentence in Seagoville, Texas, or Texarkana, Arkansas.
“We’re grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government’s request for a 240-month sentence. We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal,” Duggar’s attorney Travis Story said in a statement to In Touch.
Once released from prison, Duggar faces up to 20 years of probation, The Sun reported. He will also be prohibited from seeing his children unsupervised and will not be allowed to own a computer or to view adult pornographic content.
Duggar was taken into custody at the Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas shortly after his guilty verdict in December 2021, which came after a six-day trial and just under seven hours of deliberation. He remained in jail until his hearing.
“We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations,” Duggar’s attorneys Justin Gelfand, Ian Murphy and Travis Story said in a statement to E! News following the announcement, adding, “We respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal.”
Duggar’s defense team later filed a motion on January 19 for acquittal or a new trial if the acquittal is denied.
The former car salesman was arrested in April 2021 and later released on bail. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019,” according to a press release shared by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Arkansas at the time. Duggar pleaded not guilty to both the count of receipt of child pornography and the count of possession of child pornography at an arraignment that month.
Throughout the trial, Duggar was supported by his wife, Anna Duggar (née Keller), who announced that she was pregnant with baby No. 7 weeks before his arrest. The couple welcomed daughter Madyson in October 2021, she shared via Instagram that November while breaking her social media hiatus. They also share daughter Mackynzie, son Michael, son Marcus, daughter Meredith, son Mason and daughter Maryella.
In Touch later confirmed that her husband was moved to solitary confinement for safety reasons as he awaited his sentencing.
Duggar’s sentencing was originally supposed to take place on April 5, but In Touch confirmed that his legal team filed a motion to delay the hearing. According to documents obtained by In Touch in March, his team asked that the hearing be delayed by “approximately 30 days” in order to have more time to “pursue additional information and documentation.”
The filing also indicated that it has become “more difficult scheduling meetings” with the defense attorney due to “certain reasonable COVID-19 precautions understandably instituted at the jail.” Judge Brooks signed off on the approved order just days later.
In the weeks leading up to Duggar’s hearing, an insider exclusively told In Touch that Anna “doesn’t consider divorce” from “an option” despite his looming prison sentence.
“Some of her relatives want her to, but it goes against everything in her being,” the insider added. “Obviously, no one would judge her if she did.”
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.