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UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Josh Duggar Found Guilty of Child Porn Possession

josh duggar

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Earlier this year, Josh Duggar, of “19 Kids and Counting” fame, was accused of receiving and possessing child pornography.

CNN reports:

Former reality TV star Joshua Duggar has been arrested on federal charges related to the possession of child pornography, according to the US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas.

Duggar allegedly downloaded material that depicted the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, the US attorney’s office said in a statement. Duggar allegedly possessed the material in May 2019.

Duggar, the oldest son of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, whose family was the subject of the TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” faces two charges, the indictment shows — one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted, the statement said.

Duggar was arrested in Arkansas Thursday, according to the statement. He appeared in federal court Friday via video conference and pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In 2015, Duggar was accused of sexually molesting five girls, including some of his sisters. No charges were filed against Duggar.

The Daily Mail reports:

The arrest marks Duggar’s latest brush with the law after his father, Jim Bob, reported him to police in 2006 for allegedly molesting five young girls over multiple occasions back when he was 14 and 15. It took several years and a tip-off to local police that finally forced Jim Bob to report his son’s behavior to authorities.

Josh’s behavior was first discovered in March of 2002, when one of his youngest sisters went to Jim Bob ‘very upset and crying’. Josh admitted to touching her breasts and genitals while she was sleeping on multiple occasions.

In the report, Jim Bob said Josh was ‘disciplined,’ though didn’t reveal what the discipline entailed. 

But there were more incidents to follow after that. And it was revealed that Jim Bob decided to finally go to authorities after an anonymous tip was made to the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline about Josh’s behavior.

Finally speaking to police on Dec. 12, 2006, Jim Bob said when he learned about what his son was doing, he ‘met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.’ 

They sent Josh to a Christian program that consisted of hard physical work and counseling from March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003. 

It later emerged that the institute’s founder, Bill Gothard, was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting 34 women in 2014 and resigned shortly afterward.  

It wasn’t until May 2015, when the police report leaked in the media, that details of the accusations went public. The reality show was cancelled by TLC two months later. 

Duggar’s sisters, Jessa and Jill Duggar, have since claimed they were two of their brother’s alleged victims. 

Duggar later found himself caught up in the Ashley Madison scandal. The Daily Mail reports:

Months later, Duggar was rocked by another scandal when it was revealed that he had an account on Ashley Madison – the cheating website for married men.

He released yet another statement apologizing for cheating on his wife, saying: ‘I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this has become a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.’

In December 2021, Duggar was found guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison.

US Weekly reports:

Josh Duggar has been found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography just over one week after his trial began.

The former reality star, 33, was convicted on Thursday, December 9, on two charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material, according to local news outlet KNWA. He faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count. Sentencing will occur at a later date.

The political activist was previously arrested without bail on the child pornography charges in April. At the time, his attorney entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment and he was released on bond one month later.

“According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas said in a press release following the arrest. “Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”

Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar addressed their son’s legal issues in a statement to Us, saying, “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.”

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sage

    Yeah, he is a disgusting man. And I am not surprised.

    Christians need to face their sexual abuse issues. They need to stop repressing sex and stop teaching male helplessness. They need to stop forgiving and forcing victims to forgive. Hold the abusive men accountable and stop making excuses. Stop enabling these idiots.

    It amazes me that they give so much effort to hating and controlling trans and non-binary people but completely ignore, then forgive, the ignore again the true deviants that live in their churches.

    It’s never ending with Christians. You can’t bake a cake for a gay couple, but you can support poor victim Joshie when he sexually assaults his sisters. It’s not his fault, he is a victim of addiction and that’s why porn needs banned and women need to cover up and gays need to undergo abusive therapies and trans/non-binary people should be legislated out of existence.

    I wonder who would be kicked out of a church first, child and women abusing men, or non-binary Sage.

  2. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    In reading about Josh Duggar here, I can’t help but wonder– just where did his obsession with child porn get it’s start ?? What was going on in that house REALLY ? I ask because, I read about the patriarch, Jim Bob, broke the forearm of one of the songs during a quarrel over timing a scene for TLC back in the day. It was a blind teenage boy. I can’t remember this kid’s name. Now that Joshie crossed the line after attacking his sisters, there’s no going back. He’s a sex offenders. Officially. So just how was he introduced to his way of thinking, which I’m sure started in early childhood. Had he gone to real therapy the FIRST time, he may have stopped. But, by taking him to the Gothard crowd, the truth was suppressed and kept ” in- house.” 😗😬

    • Avatar
      Troy Heck

      “Just where did his obsession with child porn get it’s start?” Assuming he’s guilty, it is a stretch to say he is “obsessed” with child porn. He’s likely addicted to pornography, and one problem with such an addiction is such a person will normally need to find something that is fresh and different. Keep in mind, in his cult, ALL pornography is 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘦𝘯, so child pornography wouldn’t be any worse morally.

      “How was he introduced to his way of thinking” His cult is very sex obsessed and punitive. Without a healthy outlet normal sexual energy becomes fetid. When you suppress your desires, your desires eventually become perverse.

  3. Avatar
    Chikirin

    Christians say that they have God living inside them, they say this when they want you to think they have moral authority. But then when they screw up they say the opposite, that they are imperfect and merely human.

    It enrages me when they try to say both of those things according to whichever works best for them in the moment. If you got living inside you, then you can’t later claim to be “just human.” If you do, then you can’t also claim God lives in you. Pick one.

  4. Avatar
    lydiaschoch

    I was just about to email you about this, Bruce.

    It will be interesting to see how this case develops.

    I have so much compassion for the poor kids who were victimized.

  5. Avatar
    Obstaclechick

    These “biblical womanhood and manhood” teachings set up women and children to accept abuse and men to commit abuse.

    I hope that his children are safe. However, I fear that they aren’t.

  6. Avatar
    Rachel

    The BEST thing that could happen to the children of this man would be for him to be jailed for these crimes. That would keep him away from them. Their mother is very clearly enabling his appalling behaviour to continue, having been his constant support throughout all the scandals. His parents will obviously continue to be the screwed-up, controlling and enabling people that they are.

    Where the HELL are the social services? These children are being born to a known abuser.

  7. Avatar
    Trenton

    I feel sorry for his victims, I feel sorry for his wife, I feel sorry for his kids, I have absolutely no sympathy for his parents who didn’t do a god damned thing when they had the chance. Jim Bob was trying to run for state senate on a family values platform. Why any sane person would vote for any Duggar is beyond me at this point. As for Josh he needs to rot in a jail(unharmed) for hopefully the rest of his life so that he cant victimize anyone else.

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Bruce Gerencser