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How Much Prison Time Did Josh Duggar Get?

Josh Duggar is the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who starred in the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” from 2008 to 2015. The show documented the lives of the Duggar family, who are devout Independent Baptists and follow strict rules about dating, modesty and interaction between males and females.

Josh Duggar was once considered the golden child of the family, but in 2015 it was revealed that he had molested five underage girls, including some of his own sisters, when he was a teenager. Duggar issued a public apology and resigned from his job at the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group.

In 2015, Duggar was also embroiled in an Ashley Madison data breach, which revealed he held accounts on the infidelity website. He admitted to being unfaithful to his wife Anna and having a pornography addiction.

In April 2021, Duggar was arrested by federal agents and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. His parents and wife initially defended him, but he was found guilty in December 2021.

Josh Duggar’s Sentencing

On May 25, 2022, Josh Duggar was sentenced to 151 months (12.5 years) in federal prison for receipt of child pornography. He will also be supervised for 20 years after his release and is required to participate in a treatment program.

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Duggar’s charges stemmed from a 2019 Homeland Security raid on his used car dealership, during which agents found child pornography files on his computer and monitored his continued downloading of illicit materials.

Duggar’s defense team had requested a 5-year prison sentence, while prosecutors asked for a 20-year sentence and $50,000 fine. Ultimately, the judge determined that a 151-month sentence was appropriate given the severity of his crimes.

Statement from Judge Timothy L. Brooks

In handing down Duggar’s 12.5 year prison sentence, Judge Timothy L. Brooks stated:

“What concerns me is the scope of the behavior here. The behavior was ongoing, months if not years. These are not photos of a child at bath time. They are dark, they are violent, and I appreciate that the defendant accessed this material in a very hidden manner, these facts illustrate to the court an individual with a depraved interest in children.”

The judge went on to call Duggar’s actions “the sickest of the sick” and said he was disturbed by the ages of the victims in the explicit photos and videos Duggar downloaded.

Details of Josh Duggar’s Conviction

Duggar was convicted in December 2021 on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. Below is a summary of the key details around his crimes and conviction:

Crimes Committed

  • Downloaded child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from the internet in May 2019
  • Possessed multiple images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children under 12 years old
  • Used password-protected dark web network to anonymize his online activity
  • Admitted to agents that he had a TOR browser on his computer and accessed dark web for child pornography

Evidence and Trial Details

  • Duggar’s HP desktop computer seized in November 2019 raid contained 65 child porn images, some depicting abuse of toddlers
  • Files had been downloaded via BitTorrent peer-to-peer network
  • Forensic examination showed he viewed, possessed, downloaded the files
  • At trial, agents testified about monitoring his activity and internet history
  • Defense tried to claim others could have accessed computer remotely, but failed to convince jury
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Conviction and Sentencing

  • Convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography on December 9, 2021
  • Faced up to 20 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine per count
  • Sentenced to 151 months (12.5 years) in prison on May 25, 2022
  • No fine imposed, but required to pay restitution to victims
  • Judge: “This case represents an extensive collection of many, many images that were not photos of children at bath time”

Timeline of Key Dates in Josh Duggar’s Child Porn Case

May 2019Duggar downloads child sexual abuse material (CSAM)
November 2019Homeland Security Investigations conducts raid on Duggar’s car dealership, seizes computer
April 2021Duggar arrested on receipt and possession of CSAM
November 2021Duggar’s trial begins
December 9, 2021Jury convicts Duggar on both counts
May 25, 2022Duggar sentenced to 151 months (12.5 years) in prison

Key Questions about Josh Duggar’s Conviction

Here are answers to 5 frequently asked questions about Josh Duggar’s child pornography case and conviction:

What type of child sexual abuse material did Josh Duggar download?

According to court documents, Duggar downloaded images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children under 12 years old. Some of the material was described by authorities as being “in the top five of the worst of the worst” that they had ever had to analyze.

How did authorities catch Josh Duggar with child pornography?

In November 2019, Homeland Security Investigations conducted a raid on Duggar’s used car dealership and seized his computer. Forensic analysis uncovered child pornography files that prosecutors said he downloaded via a torrent sharing network in May 2019.

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Did Josh Duggar confess to the crimes?

No, Duggar never made a full confession, but he did admit to authorities that he had a secret TOR browser on his computer that he used to access the dark web for pornography. However, his attorneys unsuccessfully tried to suggest others could have remotely accessed his computer.

Did Josh Duggar’s wife Anna know about the child pornography?

By all accounts, Anna Duggar did not know about her husband’s child pornography crimes until after his arrest in April 2021. She accompanied him to court hearings and initially issued statements supporting him. However, it’s unclear if she is still supporting him post-conviction.

Could Josh Duggar face additional charges?

As of now, no additional federal charges have been brought against Duggar. However, legal experts say it’s possible he could eventually face state child pornography charges in Arkansas since it’s a separate jurisdiction. There’s also a chance more evidence could emerge that leads to new federal charges.


Josh Duggar’s conviction for receipt and possession of child sexual abuse material represents a shocking but unsurprising fall from grace for the former TLC star. Given the strict sentence handed down by Judge Brooks, Duggar will spend over a decade in federal prison and the next 20 years under supervision.

The case sparked intense media coverage and revealed Duggar to be a hypocrite as a former executive of a conservative Christian values organization. While Duggar continues to maintain his innocence, the evidence presented convinced a jury of his peers that he actively sought out and downloaded sexually explicit material exploiting young children.

Duggar’s public persona as an upright, moral family man was shattered by the revelation of his secret criminal behaviors. The extent of his crimes and lack of remorse likely means any chance of returning to public life is gone. For now, Josh Duggar will remain incarcerated as he pays the price for his disturbing actions that shocked his family’s many supporters.

Prison Inside Team

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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