While fans first met Josh Duggar on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, which followed parents Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar’s large family, the reality TV alum is currently spending time behind bars after being convicted on child pornography charges. 

Why Is Josh Duggar In Jail?

Josh is currently in federal prison after being arrested in April 2021 on one count of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

“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 was released on bail and later 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. He was later convicted of both counts in December 2021, with the possession convocation eventually being dismissed.

What Was Josh Duggar’s Original Prison Sentence?

In May 2022, the 19 Kids and Counting alum was sentenced to 151 months — roughly 12.5 years — behind bars.

The father of seven was facing up to 20 years in prison, which is what prosecutors asked for due to his “prior sexual exploitation of multiple minors” and “the extraordinary efforts Duggar took to obtain and view child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), the nature of the CSAM he obtained and viewed, his efforts to conceal his criminal conduct and his refusal to take accountability for or acknowledge any of his criminal conduct.”

Josh’s defense team argued for a more lenient sentence, citing his never being charged or convicted of a past crime, and that he receive a sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary.” 

Josh Duggar’s Appeal Case Was Terminated

Josh’s legal team challenged the child pornography conviction and requested a new trial in October 2022. During a court hearing in February 2023, Josh’s lawyer, Justin Gelfand, alleged that federal agents seized Josh’s phone when he attempted to contact his attorney during a raid at his workplace more than a year before his arrest, which resulted in Josh talking to the agents without legal counsel present.

However, the court upheld its decision to convict and terminated the appeal via a mandate on October 5, 2023, according to court documents obtained by In Touch.

Where Is Josh Duggar Serving His Sentence?

The disgraced reality TV star is currently serving out his sentence at the Federal Correctional Facility (FCI) Seagoville in Texas

When Is Josh Duggar’s Prison Release Date?

His release date was scheduled for October 10, 2032, after his original stay was extended, according to the Bureau of Prisons, In Touch learned in May 2023. His release was extended due to him allegedly possessing a cell phone while serving his sentence in February 2023. However, In Touch exclusively confirmed that Josh will be released on October 2, 2032, according to ​online records from Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Seagoville in Texas.

Has Josh Duggar Previously Been in Trouble?

Years before the child pornography trial, at just 15 years old, Josh confessed to his father, Jim Bob, to molesting five underaged girls — including his sisters Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar. Instead of reporting the incident to authorities, the patriarch consulted with the elders of his church and opted to send his son to a Christian rehab center. 

Jill later condemned her parents for their efforts to cover up Josh’s crimes against his sisters in September 2023, noting in her memoir, Counting the Cost, that it made her feel “sick.”

“Though I love my parents and it made a lot of sense that they would want to protect and care for their child,” the mom of three spoke about her parents, Jim Bob and Michelle. “I couldn’t help but think about the lengths that Pops had gone to in order to guard Josh’s privacy and keep him from being publicly humiliated.” 


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