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Josh Duggar conviction: Federal prosecutors are asking for 20 years

josh duggar conviction

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In this handout photo provided by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, former “19 Kids And Counting” television personality Josh Duggar poses for a booking photo after his arrest April 29, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Federal prosecutors want former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar to serve 20 years in prison after being found guilty of possessing child pornography, Heavy court documents show. Duggar and his family starred on the TLC reality show from 2008 to 2015 and were the focus of several controversies before his December 2021 sentencing.

The 20-year sentence sought by prosecutors is the maximum sentence Duggar could face if convicted in federal court in Arkansas on May 25, 2022 under federal sentencing guidelines. A judge decides his sentence. The charges technically carry the potential for up to life imprisonment. Along with their written recommendations, prosecutors and Duggar’s attorneys will present arguments and witnesses during a May 25 hearing.

Duggar’s attorneys have also filed court documents asking for a reduced sentence, and several supporters have written letters asking US District Judge Timothy L. Brooks for leniency. His attorneys have asked Brooks to sentence Duggar to five years in prison, along with a period of supervised release as a registered sex offender.

One of 19 children born to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Duggar is a 34-year-old father of seven. His wife, Anna Duggar, wrote a letter to the judge asking for a “just punishment.” Duggar’s mother also wrote a letter to the judge asking for a “fair and equitable verdict.” Both said Josh Duggar still has the support of family and friends and asked that her family be reunited as soon as possible.

Duggar was arrested on federal charges in April 2021 and found guilty on eight counts by a jury in December. Duggar, who once worked as executive director of the conservative Family Research Council’s political action committee, was at the center of a scandal in 2015 when it was revealed he had molested underage girls, including family members, as a teenager. according to the Washington Post.


Prosecutors say the child pornography found on Josh Duggar’s computers and other devices was “sadistic” in nature and included videos that an FBI analyst called “the most obnoxious” thing he’s seen


Josh Duggar’s cousin Amy tells Anna Duggar there’s ‘no shame’ in divorce.Amy Duggar King isn’t holding back her opinion. The 35-year-old took to Instagram on Tuesday to leave a lengthy message to Anna Duggar, wife of her cousin Josh Duggar, while Josh awaits sentencing. “If no one else in your life is saying it, you need to understand that there is no shame in getting a divorce…2022-05-18T02:02:22Z

In the 32-page sentencing notice prosecutors filed, they wrote that Josh Duggar is eligible for an increased sentence because the child pornography found in his possession contained “sadistic and masochistic” content. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Roberts, Carly Marshall and William Clayman wrote in the document:

Duggar searched for images and videos showing prepubescent minors undergoing sadistic and masochistic abuse. And while the Court has undoubtedly (and unfortunately) encountered other cases in which the enhancement of sadistic or masochistic behavior applies, it must be recognized that the enhancement applies to a range of materials.

And the material Duggar sought is at the other end of that range. The CSAM he received and possessed not only depicted minors with similarities to his previous victims, but also minors forced into bondage, caged and subjected to extreme acts of violence, including flogging and posing nude with what appears in simulated blood and a knife.

In fact, forensic evidence presented in court contained multiple torrent files related to a series of CSAMs that law enforcement has repeatedly cited as among the worst of the worst.

According to the sentencing note, a veteran FBI analyst, James Fottrell, the director of the agency’s high-tech investigative unit, said a video seized by investigators was “one of the most objectionable series” of child pornography “he’s seen in his career.” The Prosecutors said Duggar was in possession of more than 600 images and videos of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

Prosecutors said: “Duggar went to great lengths to obtain CSAM. … Duggar, perhaps more than any other person presented to this court, was willing to go to exhaustive lengths to obtain CSAM without detection. Duggar’s criminal activities were also deliberate and precise.”

Duggar’s defense attorneys have argued that the judge should not consider the previous allegations of molestation against the former TLC star when returning the verdict. But prosecutors wrote: “Currently, Duggar is a 34-year-old man with no criminal record. However, facts presented in pre-trial hearings and in court establish that he previously molested four (4) underage women, either while they slept (hence incapacitated) or were too young to understand what Duggar was doing, or opposed to his criminal defend behavior. ”

They added: “And while Duggar is not on trial to be specifically convicted for this behavior, his past behavior nonetheless provides an alarming insight into the extent of his sexual interest in children that the court should consider in sentencing.” This past behavior, when viewed in conjunction with the behavior for which he was convicted, makes it clear that Duggar has a deep-seated, pervasive, and violent sexual interest in children and is willing to act on that interest.”


Prosecutors say Duggar caused “permanent harm to children” by “trafficking child pornography.”


Josh Duggar’s lawyers are asking for 5 years in prison, prosecutors are asking for 20Duggar’s defense team say he has lived an “admirable life” and should not be convicted “more than is necessary”. 5newsonline.com/article/news/crime/josh-duggar-prison-sentence-request-defense-prosecution/527-e16bafae-dbee-4852-b195-c25cc851a41d2022-05-13T03:46:26Z

Prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum, “The child pornography trafficking also results in lasting harm to the children who have already been sexually abused, all of whom are struggling with the indelible trauma caused by that abuse.”

According to court filings, the mother of one of the victims featured in the images Duggar downloaded said her daughter had become a “fearful and resentful shadow of her former self” after being sexually abused. Prosecutors added a statement from the mother:

I cannot find words to express the anger I feel towards those involved in this evil, or my contempt for any attempt to downplay responsibility through feeble claims that the crime is “victimless.”

My daughter is a real person. She was horribly bullied for providing this source of “entertainment.” Every time an image of her suffering is copied, traded or sold, she is exploited all over again. While the crime is clearly unscrupulous, it is hardly “victimless.” I asked my daughter what she would most like to ask the judge. Her request: “Please, don’t let her pretend that no one is getting hurt!”

She also had some words for the accused: “Don’t you know that you shouldn’t do that to a little girl! Don’t you know it hurts!’ As the mother of a child who was the victim of this crime, I would ask that the court consider the harm this heartless crime has caused to my daughter and others like her (including those children who are still waiting for someone to from their exploitation and have no one here to speak for them today) and impose a sentence that takes into account the full impact of the crime on the victims.

Prosecutors added: “These are the words of only one parent, of only one victim. There are many other victims of Duggar’s crimes, all of whom have been subjected to extreme and unimaginable instances of sexual abuse and violence. Some of the victims depicted in the CSAM he downloaded and owned, like the victim described above, have been identified and rescued. Others have not, and the pain and trauma they have experienced as a result of Duggar’s behavior will not be reflected at the sentencing hearing.”


Prosecutors say Duggar is at risk of re-offending and say he has “become a smarter child sex offender” after previous allegations of molestation were uncovered

Josh Duggar wife Anna Duggar

Kris Connor/GettyAnna Duggar and Josh Duggar pose during the 42nd Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Prosecutors wrote: “There is no reason to believe that Duggar is at ‘low risk’ of recidivism. All of his perverse activities have been carried out in secret, and it is clear that he takes sadistic delight in the sexual exploitation of minors. But even if he could be labeled “low risk of recurrence,” “[a] Low risk is not the same as no risk.” Given Duggar’s history of child sexual abuse and the sadistic nature of the CSAM he downloaded and viewed in this case, it is imperative that the court’s ruling be framed to ensure that he will not re-offend.” They wrote:

Duggar’s behavior is characterized by a number of aggravating factors not present in the cases above. Initially, Duggar used multiple means – uTorrent and Tor – to search and download CSAM of a sadistic nature, including CSAM depicting pre-adolescent minors subjected to violent abuse. He also went to great lengths to hide his behavior from others, presumably so that he could engage in it unnoticed and undeterred.

As described above, he downloaded and installed a partition on his work computer for several days to bypass Internet surveillance software, and then used this partition solely to secretly download and install programs to obtain CSAM. Duggar’s criminal behavior here, coupled with his abusive behavior since about 2003, makes it clear that in the intervening years he became a more accomplished child sex offender, employing sophisticated techniques to hide, and presumably to hide, his ability to engage in this behavior extend.

Prosecutors concluded: “Fortunately, he was caught and convicted, but it appears he sees his conviction as evidence that he needs to learn more sophisticated techniques to avoid detection in the future, rather than as an opportunity to reflect on his years – long patterns of crime and abuse. Accordingly, to ensure just punishment and to avoid unwarranted differentials in sentences with similar offenders in the Western District of Arkansas, the United States proposes that a sentence of 240 months under the Guidelines is appropriate here.”

https://heavy.com/entertainment/tlc/josh-duggar-sentencing-max-sentence/ Josh Duggar conviction: Federal prosecutors are asking for 20 years

Brian Ashcraft

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