The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas revealed the nature of the charges in a press release on April 30, 2021.
“A Springdale man was arrested yesterday for receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children,” the release began. “According to court documents, Joshua James Duggar, 33, allegedly used the internet to download child sexual abuse material. Duggar allegedly possessed this material, some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12, in May 2019.”
Josh, the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, was detained without bond. He was released from jail in May 2021 and was allowed to see his children with supervised visits — though he was not allowed to live with them. The news of Josh’s April arrest came days after his wife, Anna Duggar, announced that the pair are expecting their seventh child.
“It’s a GIRL!!!!!” Anna wrote via Instagram on April 24, 2021. “We are overjoyed to announce baby seven is on the way and we can’t wait to hold her in our arms this fall!”
The twosome, who wed in 2008, share seven kids: Mackynzie (born October 2009), Michael (June 2011), Marcus (June 2013), Meredith (July 2015), Mason (September 2017) and Maryella (November 2019) Madyson Lilly (born October 2021).
While the Duggars have acknowledged Josh’s behavior was wrong, multiple family members — including Anna, Michelle and Jim Bob — have publicly supported Josh and attended his trial. In May 2022, Michelle and Anna sent letters to the judge praising him and pleading that he get the minimum sentence of five years.
The former TLC personality is no stranger to controversy. Back in 2015, he made headlines when resurfaced court documents revealed he molested five girls — four of which were related to him — between 2002 and 2003. He was 14 and 15 years old at the time.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends,” he said in a statement via Facebook at the time. “We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
Josh and Anna’s marriage hit another rough patch that August after his Ashley Madison account was revealed. He subsequently sought treatment and the couple began counseling.
“Since the residential treatment program ended, we have been working with a professional marriage and family counselor to take important steps toward healing,” Josh and Anna wrote in a statement in March 2016. “As the future unfolds, we are taking one day at a time and we are grateful for your continued prayers for both of us and our sweet children.”
After delays, Josh is set to be sentenced on May 25, 2022. Scroll through for everything we know about the case so far:
This is an ongoing article that was originally published on April 30, 2021, and last updated on May 13, 2022.