Jessa Duggar Dillard shares statement after husband’s child porn charges

US father of five and former star of reality show 19 Kids and Counting charged with possessing child pornography

To understand why the Duggar family has been at the centre of a high-profile child sex abuse scandal for the past few months, it’s worth considering the media coverage surrounding their reality show.

In the past decade, 19 Kids and Counting – the reality show on which Josh Duggar was a starring player – had an extremely loyal fan base who sent in plenty of fans and donations to the cast’s favourite charities, like the Pray In Jesus Name – Rescue From Envy.

In more recent years, however, the show that helped turn the Duggars into an omnipresent conservative family featured no less than four abuses against children, as well as Josh Duggar’s molestation of five girls – including one of his sisters.

Josh Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison after child porn charges Read more

Now, more than a year after being exposed as a habitual child molester, Duggar has been charged with possessing child pornography. He plead not guilty.

In a statement posted on his family’s website on Tuesday, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said they are praying for Josh and his family.

“We are brokenhearted over the pain and hurt Josh has caused so many by his bad choices. We pray that God’s healing and mercy can be extended to Josh and that the hurt he has caused can be forgiven. We will never forget the hurt Josh has caused our family and I know that each day we will walk with Jesus through this difficult time.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the incident:

• In 2002 or 2003, at the age of 14, Josh sexually molested five girls – four of them his sisters and a fifth who was unrelated. Although Josh’s actions were reported to authorities, no charges were filed. He was given a probationary sentence for violating the terms of his probation by inappropriately touching the girls, including one of his sisters when she was nine years old. The Duggar children remained on the show but Josh’s last scene was not filmed until 2008.

• In 2015, when Josh was 28, a police report revealed that investigators had uncovered evidence that he had accessed child pornography by accessing and downloading old computer hard drives that had been donated to FamilySearch, a website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). The site collects the stories of Mormon members and ensures that the names of people they see are not known to the public.

In an interview with Fox News last year, Josh Duggar said that he had been seeking help when the reports were first made. “I was kind of a mess.” He later released a statement saying that he did not view the images of child pornography he had downloaded but that he had paid $1,000 for subscriptions to several adult chat sites “and as a young teenager, I downloaded some porn”.

Josh Duggar: Christian father, family and reality TV star Read more

In court, a search of Josh’s hard drive did turn up hard evidence of child pornography, and prosecutors this week charged him with a number of counts, including two counts of possessing child pornography. Among the files he allegedly downloaded were three videos depicting minors in sexual situations. If convicted of possessing child pornography, Duggar could face up to 20 years in prison.

Leave a Comment