Josh Duggar Facing 20 Years In Prison After Child Porn Arrest, Says Arkansas Criminal Attorney

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Author: Allison Swan
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Josh Duggar Facing 20 Years In Prison After Child Porn Arrest, Says Arkansas Criminal Attorney

Josh Duggar was arrested on April 29 and charged with possession of child pornography. Here’s what will happen if the ’19 Kids and Counting’ star is convicted.

Josh Duggar, 33, could spend up to 20 years in prison and be fined as much as a half-a-million dollars, if he’s found guilty of receiving and possessing child porn, attorney Bobby Digby told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.

The 19 Kids and Counting star, who was arrested on April 29, for allegedly downloading child pornography that depicts the sexual abuse of children under the ages of 12, pleaded not guilty to the charges. But, he remains behind bars and will next face a detention hearing on May 5 to determine whether he can be granted supervised release while he stands trial.

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Josh Duggar's Mugshot
Josh Duggar’s Mugshot ( Uncredited/ AP/ Shutterstock)

“He’s facing up to 40 years in a federal prison, 20 years on each count, and up to $ 250,000 in fines on each count,” Arkansas defense attorney Digby explained. “Anything is possible, but typically they’d be concurrent sentences, which would mean he’s looking at up to 20 years.”

“In the federal system, if he is convicted and sentenced to the Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, he would serve about 86% of any sentence he would receive, before he was eligible for release,” the lawyer continued. “In the federal system they don’t call it parole, they call it supervised release, but it’s essentially parole.  So there’d be sex offender registration, all kinds of stuff like that.”

As fans of 19 Kids and Counting know, Josh is the father of six minor children with wife Anna Duggar, who announced just days before his arrest that she’s pregnant with their seventh child. And, according to Digby, these charges could mean he’s only allowed to see them with supervision, or possibly not at all.

“It’s determined in part by the judge and in part by the Sex Offender Registration Board, but there can be no contact orders. That’s discretionary with the judge. But, even if he gets out on pre-trial release, which is what we call bond in the federal system, he may not be able to have contact with them, or only have supervised contact.”

Sadly, this is not the first time Josh’s name has been in the news for sex crimes. In 2015 he admitted to molesting four of his sisters when he was a teenager. He had confessed his actions to his dad Jim Bob Duggar in 2003, who sent him away to a prayer camp. In Aug. 2015, he entered rehab for a six month in-patient stay after confessing to a serious pornography addiction.

Although no charges were ever filed against Josh for molesting his sisters, his previous actions could still be a factor, said Digby. “In the federal system, if he is convicted either by plea agreement or by trial, the judge sets the punishment. You have a separate sentencing hearing after any plea or trial. So at the sentencing hearing either side can bring forth evidence relevant to the sentencing.  Uncharged allegations can be brought forth to show that look, his criminal history may not be high, but he’s a bad guy.”

“It will be brought up potentially in the trial, it just depends on what the court would rule if it got that far,” he continued. “I mean, a lot of these do not go to trial, simply because there’s arguments that defense attorneys make, and I represent a lot of people on child pornography charges, but, you know, you boil it down it’s either: ‘I didn’t possess it’ or, ‘it wasn’t child pornography’, which are both tough sales to make.”

Duggar’s lawyers said in a statement to HollywoodLife: “Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do.”

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