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Josh Duggar Found Guilty Of Child Pornography Charges, Could Now Face Decades In Prison

Former TLC star Josh Duggar spent a lot of time during 2021 trying to avoid going to trial for charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, but the accused molester finally made it into the courtroom for the trial's start on November 30. Just nine days later, on December 9, Duggar was found guilty of both of the aforementioned charges, and was thereby taken into police custody.

According to the Arkansas Fox affiliate KNWA, Josh Duggar will now face up to 20 years behind bars, and will have to pay fines that could reach $250,000, and that's for each count. It's unclear at this time how serious the sentencing will be, but there will be some time to contemplate such things, as Judge Timothy Brooks stated after the verdict was revealed that the sentencing process will begin in around four months.

Josh Duggar's defense attorney Justin Gelfand is reported to have stated the defense team will be filing an appeal. Most of the team's attempts to delay the trial or to withhold certain pieces of evidence were relatively quickly denied, which doesn't bode well for an appeal process, but that all depends on how the judge decides to view the proposal. 

The trial started around two years after Homeland Security agents first confirmed evidence of child pornography at the business Duggar's Wholesale Motors, which itself happened around six months after authorities discovered illicit files being shared via an IP address connected to Duggar's name. Thus started a long investigation into the personal affairs of the self-claimed devout Christian that eventually led to the guilty verdict.

After the closing arguments took place early on December 8, jurors went into deliberation, which then continued on the morning of December 9. (As it happens, a potential-but-dismissed juror was married to one of Josh Duggar's many siblings, though their identities weren't reported on.) All in all, the jurors took less than seven hours to agree on the guilty verdict.

Duggar's past alleged transgressions were addressed during the trial as well, six years or so after the then-19 Kids and Counting star was accused of molesting four of his younger sisters and a babysitter a decade earlier. That controversy caused rifts within the family, and between certain family members and TLC.

The guilty verdict for Josh Duggar roughly coincides with his father Jim Bob Duggar's attempts to return to a role within local government in Arkansas. Having previously served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2003, the Duggar patriarch is one of four Republican candidates vying for a vacant Senate seat. The early voting process began on December 7, with the official primary set for Tuesday, December 14. 

It's obviously unclear if Josh Duggar's verdict will have any outward effects on his father's political campaign, but voters will likely make it known with the upcoming primary.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.