- Josh Duggar is set to be sentenced on May 25 after being found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
- Federal authorities argued that Duggar should receive 20 years, while Duggar’s team argued for only five years.
- In a court filing on Wednesday, Duggar’s lawyers called a 20-year sentence “unnecessarily harsh.”
Former reality TV star Josh Duggar complained in court papers on Wednesday that federal prosecutors had sought an “excessive, totally unjustified and unprecedented” sentence of 20 years for his child pornography conviction.
Duggar, 34, had filed a sentencing memorandum last week suggesting the judge only give a five-year sentence and noting that Duggar intended to appeal the jury’s guilty verdict. Prosecutors noted in their own court filing on Wednesday that Duggar’s suggested five-year sentence was “the lowest sentence allowed by law.”
Duggar’s court filing on Wednesday argued the government had asked for an “unnecessarily harsh sentence”, saying no other “similarly situated defendant” had ever been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Duggar’s attorneys argued that other child pornography defendants who received long sentences possessed significantly larger amounts of child sexual exploitation material or had long criminal records, unlike Duggar.
Duggar was found guilty last December, after a week-long jury trial, of receiving and possessing child pornography in May 2019. Federal prosecutors had charged Duggar with uploading hundreds of abuse materials child sexual abuse, including images and videos, using the
at his car dealership in Arkansas.
Duggar maintained his innocence, and his lawyers suggested at trial that Duggar was not the only person with access to the office computer on which the child sexual abuse material was found.
Duggar is due to be sentenced on May 25.
Duggar’s attorneys argued in their court filing on Wednesday that child sexual abuse material found on Duggar’s computer contained images that were “only partially uploaded, never uploaded or deleted before be open”.
“To be clear, no one denies how many real children are victims of child pornography crimes – but the Government’s emphasis in its sentencing memorandum is clearly intended to provoke an emotional reaction in the hope that this Court will rule an unnecessarily harsh sentence.”
Prosecutors argued last week in their sentencing memorandum that the “sadistic” images and videos uploaded by Duggar should factor into his sentence. Some of the materials included videos and images of prepubescent girls as young as 7 or 8 years old being penetrated and violently abused.
One file even described the sexual abuse and torture of a child, prosecutors said, adding that a computer forensics expert described the file as “one of the most offensive series of [child sexual abuse material] he’s seen in his career.”
Duggar’s attorneys concluded their court case on Wednesday, arguing that a five-year sentence, followed by a period of supervised release “will be sufficient to satisfy all of the purposes of sentencing.”
On Wednesday, prosecutors accused Duggar’s team of trying to “confuse and downplay the seriousness of his crimes,” and accused Duggar of playing the “victim” rather than holding himself accountable and seeking treatment that would harm him. would prevent reoffending in the future.
“Absent some acknowledgment from Duggar of his crimes and his need to address his demonstrated and long-standing sexual interest in children, it is unlikely he will ever consider his conviction otherwise. anything but evidence that he needs to be more circumspect and secretive the next time he engages in behavior involving child sexual abuse,” prosecutors wrote.