Just one day after Josh Duggar was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison following his conviction for receiving and possessing child pornography, one of the former reality TV star’s younger brothers is speaking out.
“My heart is grieved over the choices my brother has made,” wrote Jase Duggar in a post shared to his Instagram account. “His actions do not reflect that of a Christian believer and have doubtlessly defamed my Lord and Savior’s name!!”
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He went on to write that his brother’s condemnable actions have “greatly affected” those around him, in particular his wife, Anna, the seven children they share, and the Duggar family as a whole.
“With that said,” Jase Duggar added, “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! My prayer is that God will use this circumstance to truly humble him and bring about a true change in his life!”
Josh Duggar was arrested in April 2021 after a detective with the Little Rock Police Department found files of child sexual abuse material, colloquially known as child pornography, shared by a computer traced to the disgraced star of “19 Kids and Counting,” a since-canceled TLC show centered on Duggar’s large Arkansas family.
TLC pulled the show from its lineup in 2015, when allegations surfaced that Josh Duggar has molested four of his sisters as well as a babysitter several years earlier. At the time of the allegations, Josh Duggar was working with the conservative Family Research Council, a position from which he resigned. He later admitted to cheating on his wife and struggling with an addiction to pornography.
The prosecution in the trial against Josh Duggar sought a 20-year sentence for the ex-TV personality, arguing in a pre-sentencing court filing that he has a “deep-seated, pervasive and violent sexual interest in children.”
Federal prosecutors said Josh Duggar’s past behavior “provides an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children that the court should consider at sentencing,” citing deeply graphic and profoundly disturbing images as well as court testimony about his alleged abuse of his sisters.
Upon the initial exploration into Josh Duggar, investigators discovered vile footage depicting the sexual torture and abuse of a toddler, video content so grotesque one Homeland Security Investigations agent described it as one of the most horrific things he has ever seen. More than 600 images and videos depicted prepubescent girls enduring unspeakable sexual abuse.
The attorneys for Josh Duggar sought a lighter, 5-year sentence, maintained his innocence, and indicated he will appeal Judge Timothy Brooks’ 151-month sentence.
Jase Duggar is not the only Duggar sibling to have responded to their elder brother’s sentencing.
Jill Duggar — now Dillard — and her husband Derick wrote in a statement shared to their joint family website that they are “neither rejoicing nor disappointed by the sentence, but we are thankful it’s finally over,” describing the entire ordeal as “difficult emotionally.”
“The Bible clearly states that God effects justice and vengeance through the governing authorities,” they wrote. “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.”
“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,” the couple continued, adding they hope Josh Duggar will now “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,” the Dillards concluded. “We continue to love Josh and his family and will be there for them however we can.”
It is worth noting that, in the days before Josh Duggar’s sentencing, his mother, Michelle Duggar, wrote a letter to the judge, asking for leniency because her son “has a tender heart and he is compassionate toward others.”
Josh Duggar’s wife, Anna, said her husband is a “loving, supportive and caring father,” according to People.
Duggar cousin Amy, who occasionally appeared on “19 Kids and Counting,” said in a statement to the magazine she is “furious at the family that looked the other way and still today, refuse to hold him accountable.”
Both Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar — Josh Duggar’s parents — are reportedly urging their son’s wife Anna, to whom he is still married, to “stay with them” until Josh Duggar is released from prison, In Touch Weekly reported.
“Anna wasn’t shocked,” an unnamed source told the outlet. “She is relieved that it’s over, though. Now comes the hard decision, whether to stay and wait for Josh to come out or start her life over without him. Some of her kids will be grown with possibly children of their own by the time their dad gets out. It will be interesting to see what she decides to do.”
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