Josh Duggar's Prison Sentence Is Finally Clear

Josh Duggar has finally been sentenced. The reality star and eldest son of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar of TLC's "19 and Counting" fame was arrested in April 2021 on federal child pornography charges, and after a two-week trial in Arkansas, the jury found Josh guilty of downloading and possessing child sex abuse images, according to NBC News. Josh has been held in custody since his conviction in December 2021.

Josh's sentencing hearing was initially scheduled for February 15, per People, but it had been delayed pending a report from federal authorities. Duggar's attorneys also filed an appeal calling for an acquittal or a new trial if the acquittal is denied, arguing the prosecution's failure to prove their case with the evidence provided, according to TODAY. The defense also argued that "law enforcement had failed to meaningfully investigate the possibility that anyone other than Duggar may have committed the crimes charged," suggesting that a former co-worker of Josh's could've used his computer to commit the crimes. (There is no evidence to support that claim.) 

The trial got delayed until May 25, and now that it's here, we finally know how long Josh will spend in prison.

Josh Duggar will serve 12 years in prison

On May 25 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Judge Timothy L. Brooks denied the motion for acquittal and sentenced Josh Duggar to 12 years and seven months in prison, according to KNWA's FOX24. The sentence comes with $51,000 in fines, and when Josh is released, he must meet a number of conditions. 

The Duggar family hasn't released a statement as of this writing, but cousin Amy Duggar did tell The Sun ahead of sentencing, "Everyone's lives have been altered because of what my cousin has done." As The Sun also reported, Anna, Jim Bob, Joy-Anna, James, and Jason Duggar were all present at sentencing. The courtroom reporter noted Jason, James, and Joy-Anna sat on the prosecution's side, and that Joy-Anna and Jason left together.

Josh's sentencing came almost two decades after he was investigated for molesting underage girls, with the incidents occurring when he was a teen, according to People. Jill and Jessa Duggar later came forward as two of the victims. When he got convicted of receiving and possessing child sex abuse material, both sisters publicly condemned him. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).