Josh Duggar sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for child pornography
Fayetteville, Arkansas: Yesterday Judge Timothy L. Brooks sentenced 34-year-old Joshua James Duggar to serve 151 months in a federal prison without the possibility of parole after he was convicted in December of receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
A statement was released by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas.
The former reality television star, who had previous dealings with law enforcement after it was revealed that he molested five underage girls beginning when he was 12 years old, was found to have used a computer at his place of employment to view child sexual abuse material.
That computer was equipped with Covenant Eyes, an accountability software that allowed his wife to see what he was viewing. The program was bypassed by a Linux partition and TOR browser which resulted in his downloads being completely hidden from her.
"Today's verdict sends a message that we will track down and prosecute people who download and view child sexual abuse material, regardless of the lengths they go to conceal their conduct," Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. said in December.
Law enforcement became aware of activity tracing to his place of employment "during an undercover investigation involving the file-sharing program" that Duggar utilized. Once a search warrant was obtained, the computer was seized and searched.
The computer was found to contain 65 images depicting sexual abuse of girls between the ages of 7 and 9 years old. An additional 200 images had been attempted to be deleted from the system.
U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts told the court in opening statements that one of the files recovered showed the abuse of a girl which "culminates in her being put in a cage, a dog kennel."
An unnamed Homeland Security Agent that was called to testify told the court that one of the files he had to review was "in the top five worst I have ever had to examine" as it reportedly depicted children as young as 18 months old.
"Every time child exploitation imagery is shared, it re-victimizes innocent and vulnerable children," Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans acting Special Agent in Charge Jack Staton said. "The verdict demonstrates that regardless of an individual's notoriety or influence, they are not above the law. HSI agents make it a priority to protect children by investigating these offenders and ensuring they pay for their incomprehensible actions."
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