Several Duggar Family Members React After Josh Duggar’s Sentencing On Child Pornography Conviction

Josh, Amy and Jill Duggar
(Image credit: Josh Duggar photo by Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images, other photos TLC)

This week, news broke that Josh Duggar will be spending 151 months in prison without the possibility of parole, following his trial on child pornography charges in Arkansas in late 2021. The eldest Duggar sibling will also deal with restrictions in the 20 years following his prison release. Outside of his sentencing, his family is coming to terms with what the judge decided and how the case as a whole panned out and the likes of Jill Duggar Dillard, Amy Duggar King and Jason Duggar all have had varying reactions to what happened. 

If you are up on Jill and her husband Derick Dillard, you may already know the two have been mostly estranged from certain family members and have spoken out about issues with Jim Bob Duggar and how they were paid for work on Counting On in the past. Yet, they’ve still been keeping tabs on what’s going on in the Duggar fold and are still emotionally tied to the events happening with Josh Duggar, writing: 

The last several weeks and months have been difficult emotionally. Yesterday was another one of those hard days. We are neither rejoicing nor disappointed by the sentence, but we are thankful it’s finally over. The Bible clearly states that God effects justice and vengeance through the governing authorities. Though some believe Josh should have received a greater sentence and still fewer believe he should have received a lighter sentence, God has carried out his vengeance today for his unspeakable criminal activity. Until now, he has yet to be held accountable to the extent necessary to cause change in his dangerous pattern of behavior.

One important thing to note is that Josh Duggar has not acknowledged a role in any of the charges that have been levied against him. Duggar pled "not guilty" in court and his defensive legal team tried to argue that another person may have been the one to access the computer that had the child pornography downloaded onto it at the car dealership. Even back in 2015 when the Ashley Madison cheating scandal and molestation report rocked the Duggar family, Josh allegedly showed “no remorse” about the situation he’d put himself and his family in. 

Jill and Derick Dillard also noted in the message on their family’s site that  it’s “unfortunate” that it will take a prison tenure for “Josh to have any potential for rehabilitation.” 

It is unfortunate, but it seems that it may take spending over a decade in federal prison, and still more on probation, for Josh to have any potential for rehabilitation to the point he can safely live in society again. Hopefully, Josh can actually begin to get treatment and begin to work toward a lifestyle where he is less likely to reoffend. If for nothing else, the notoriety of this case has hopefully contributed to the deterrence of potential offenders and will help protect children by decreasing the demand for CSAM. We continue to love Josh and his family and will be there for them however we can.

Outside of the Dillards, cousin Amy Duggar King has been open about her feelings related to Josh Duggar in the past and  tweeted several times on the day of Josh Duggar’s sentencing. She has been clear with her messaging, telling The Sun she had reached out to Josh’s wife Anna and had not heard back, even reportedly offering a place to stay to their seven children. She also told the outlet that she is confident in the former reality star’s guilt.

I don’t know how you could not think he was guilty after all the trial. I know he’s guilty. I feel like the whole world knows he’s guilty. If [Anna] wants to turn a blind eye. Maybe that’s her way of surviving and coping through all of this. There is a darker side to him, a terrible side.

She wasn’t the last Duggar clan member to speak out, but Josh Duggar’s sibling Jason spoke of forgiveness in his own post, sharing on Instagram Stories:

Josh’s poor decisions have greatly affected those around him, in particular his wife, seven children and our family as a whole. With that said, I will never stop loving my brother, regardless of what he does, just as my savior has forgiven me so I have forgiven my brother of his wrongdoings!

Jason also addressed in his post that he hopes the prison sentence will inspire “a true change” in Josh Duggar’s life. Meanwhile, Judge Timothy L. Brooks did recommend a prison with a rehabilitation program in Texas, though a second prison in Arkansas may also be on the table. 

Patriarch Jim Bob Duggar and Anna Duggar, who were both present at Josh’s sentencing, have not yet commented on the ultimate verdict. Jim Bob and Michelle previously wrote a statement after Josh was convicted late last year. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.