Josh Duggar’s Legal Team Makes Good On Vow To Appeal After Former Reality Star Was Found Guilty On Child Pornography Charges

Josh Duggar grinning in 19 Kids and Counting Clip, TLC
(Image credit: TLC)

Just a few weeks ago, Josh Duggar was sentenced to 151 months in prison after being found guilty on child pornography charges. Following the guilty verdict, his legal team had already stated they planned to appeal. This month, they made good on that vow with a document that went through the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville.

According to reports, Josh Duggar’s legal team filed an official notice of intent in regards to the appeal process, stating the former 19 Kids and Counting star plans to appeal on one of the two counts he was initially charged on via the United States Court of Appeals in the 8th Circuit. The document itself mentions “Count Two [of possessing child pornography] was dismissed, which is something that happened before sentencing. In fact, Duggar was ultimately only sentenced on the more severe of the two child pornography charges he was found guilty on in court late last year.

According to KNWA Fox 24, a local news outlet covering the case, the motion to appeal also note the legal team will be pursuing any appeal angles that it can. Duggar’s legal team, including Justin K. Gelfand, Ian. T. Murphy, and Travis W. Story, filed the document on his behalf and will be pursuing legal action moving forward. The document read: 

Duggar respectfully provides notice of his intent to evaluate and pursue any and all meritorious arguments in his appeal.

Why Is Josh Duggar’s Intent To Appeal Notable? 

First and foremost, Duggar’s legal team even directly explained why filing for the appeal in June of 2022 was so important. They call the appeal notice “timely” given they had until fourteen days after sentencing to apply and they got the document filed during that timeline. The document was filed in the first week of June, on the third day of the month. 

Not only is the time sensitivity of beginning the appeals process notable, but it’s also worth pointing out that Duggar’s legal team has said from the beginning – or at least from the first moment the sentencing came down –that the legal team looked forward to continuing to fight for their high-profile client.  Justin Gelfand had spoken about Duggar not landing the full 240-month sentence the prosecution had asked for and had vowed to continue "the fight" in the appeals process. (The defense and prosecution had very different ideas of what sentencing should look like for Duggar.)  He noted in a statement (via USA Today):  

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.

Ultimately, the former TV personality has been in jail since the guilty verdict came down in his child pornography-related trial, which means Duggar even spent Christmas in 2021 behind bars. He's set to be moved to a prison in either Texarkana or Seagoville in the near future and may begin a rehab program (depending on which prison Duggar lands at) while he works through the appeals process in the courts. 

If the sentencing stands, once he gets out of prison, he will be on probation for a period of 20 years and will also have to follow a strict set of rules. This includes Duggar only being able to see his children in the presence of approved individuals. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.