On April 30, Mamas Uncut and other news organizations reported that former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was arrested and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in front of a judge via Zoom.
Duggar was arrested on April 29 in Arkansas and will be held in police custody until at least May 5 when he will be expected in court a second time for a detention hearing. However, should he be released on bail next week, Judge Wiedermann “requested that Duggar have a third-party custodian” and that “the residence where he would stay must be devoid of minor children,” KNWA reported.
Now, for the first time since his arrest, one of his sisters, Jill Duggar Dillard, and their parents are speaking out to People. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, in 2015, it was revealed that Josh, 33, molested several of his sisters and a close friend of the family’s when he was a teen.
Among the victims was Jill, who had spoken out about the experience with one of her other sisters, who was also a victim, Jessa Duggar Seewald. In a joint statement with her husband, Derick Dillard, Jill said they were blindsided by the news of her brother’s arrest.
“We just found out this information yesterday,” Jill and Derick told People, adding, “It is very sad.” People did point out that Jill and Derick gave them a statement before the reality of Josh’s charges was made public.
And in a statement of their own, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar made a statement regarding their son’s charges on their official website:
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
According to a press release following Duggar’s court appearance, Josh has been accused of allegedly using the internet to download images of child sexual abuse. “Some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019,” the press release revealed.
As the Washington Post reported in 2015, during an interview with Josh’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Jim Bob told then-Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly that Josh “improperly touched some of our daughters.”
“He said he was just curious about girls and he had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes while they were sleeping; they didn’t even know he had done it,” Jim Bob Duggar told Kelly before later admitting in the same interview, that Josh did also violate the girls by touching them under their clothes.
Legally, Josh was never punished for his actions. However, in that same 2015 interview, Jim Bob said, “We watched him like all the time, I took him to work with me. We just poured our life into him. Nothing ever happened like that again in the girls’ bedrooms after that.”
Josh and his wife of 13 years are also expecting their seventh child. They revealed just days ago that they are expecting a baby girl.
If the father is convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count. So far, no other member of the Duggar family has spoken out.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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