Josh Duggar convicted of uploading child sexual abuse images

Josh Duggar, a former star of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” about a large family guided by conservative Christian values,...


Josh Duggar, a former star of the TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” about a large family guided by conservative Christian values, was convicted in federal court in Arkansas on Thursday for uploading footage of child sexual abuse.

A jury delivered the verdict in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Ark., A day after its deliberations began in a case that has caught everyone’s attention.

Mr. Duggar, 33, was convicted of one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, each carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $ 250,000 in fine.

The verdict came just over a week after the start of the trial of Mr Duggar, who was arrested in april. He has been accused of using the internet to download explicit material showing sexual abuse of children, some under the age of 12, according to an indictment.

In an emailed statement shortly after the verdict, lawyers for Mr Duggar said they would challenge the verdict.

“We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations, we respect the jury’s verdict and we intend to appeal,” his lawyers said.

Mr. Duggar had pleaded not guilty and had been released by a personal recognizance granted by the judge. He was taken into police custody on Thursday after his conviction.

In 2015, TLC decided to withdraw all episodes of “19 Kids and Counting” after In weekly contact reported a 2006 police report according to which Mr. Duggar assaulted several girls as a teenager. At least 20 companies removed their ads from the show, which debuted in 2008 and was one of the top performers in the cable network, and TLC canceled it.

No criminal charges resulted from these allegations, which had exceeded the statute of limitations. Mr. Duggar’s parents said Fox news in 2015, four of the five girls assaulted by their son were his sisters.

At the time, Mr. Duggar apologized in a statement to People magazine which was also published on the Duggar family Facebook page.

“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably, for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” he said in the statement, which is is no longer visible on Facebook. “I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me cope with the situation.

Mr. Duggar also resigned from his post as director of the conservative lobbying arm Family tracing council.

“We spoke with the authorities where I confessed to my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive advice,” Mr. Duggar said in his statement to People. “I understood that if I continued on this wrong path, I would end up ruining my life.”

Michael levenson contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Josh Duggar convicted of uploading child sexual abuse images
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