The jury rests. Josh Duggar smiled in his mugshot after he was officially convicted in his months-long child pornography trial.
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The 33-year-old former reality star wore a white button-down shirt and grinned in the photo taken after the verdict was reached on Thursday, December 9, in Arkansas.
Duggar’s trial began in late November following his April arrest. After one week of hearings, which included testimony from his father, Jim Bob Duggar, the political activist was found guilty of two charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, with his sentencing set for a later date. He faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count.
The Arkansas native was taken into police custody in his home state earlier this year, shortly after his wife, Anna Duggar, announced she was expecting their seventh child. At the time, Josh’s lawyer pleaded not guilty on his behalf before he was ordered to stay with a third party, meaning he was unable to return to the family home he shares with Anna, 33, and children Mackynzie, 12, Michael, 10, Marcus, 8, Meredith, 6, Mason, 4, and Maryella, 2. (Daughter Madyson was born in October.)
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Several of Josh’s 18 siblings publicly addressed the eldest Duggar’s arrest as the controversy made headlines, as did Jim Bob, 56, and his wife, Michelle Duggar. Two months later, TLC cut ties with the family and canceled their series Counting On.
“TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately,” the network noted in a statement in June after previously asserting that Josh had not been part of the TLC family since 19 Kids and Counting ended in the wake of his molestation scandal.
In May 2015, Josh was accused of sexually abusing five underage girls when he was a teenager between 2002 and 2003. His sisters Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar later revealed they were some of the victims. Earlier this year, Jinger Duggar reflected on her family’s turbulent time in her book, The Hope We Hold.
“My brain hadn’t quite caught up to the reality of what had happened in a few short hours,” the 27-year-old wrote in the memoir, which she coauthored with her husband Jeremy Vuolo. “Earlier that day, Dad had gathered my siblings and me to tell us that the worst trial in our family history, a trial we had long since dealt with and made our peace with, was now public knowledge.”
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Though they had already been in the spotlight for several years at the time, Jinger remembered that it felt different to see “intimate details” about her family members “splashed across a magazine page and all over the internet for anyone and everyone to read,” and struggled to think about what would happen next.
“I felt shell-shocked, as if a bomb had exploded. I moved in a daze, living in a nightmare that I wished with all my heart wasn’t real,” she continued. “One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had all been years ago. It had been awful, but we had dealt with it as a family. … Now that it was out in public, the old wound was open again, raw, painful.”
Navigating the scandal was a challenge for Jinger’s siblings and parents, but one that she felt brought them “way closer,” she exclusively told Us Weekly in April.
“I will never forget how I felt in that moment,” she recalled. “And I think even everything that happens in our lives — because we’re in the public eye — it makes it more challenging because then it’s not just dealing with these things inwardly, but you have to give an answer to the world. That makes it a much tougher thing to walk through.”
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.
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