Trigger Warning: This article covers topics of sexual assault, child abuse/pedophilia, and abuse.
On Dec. 9, 2021, Josh Duggar was found guilty on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography — and since then, his fate has been hanging in balance. The former 19 Kids and Counting star could face decades in prison if hit with the maximum sentence on May 25, 2022. Ahead of the big day, the prosecution has submitted a sentencing memorandum. And if they have their way, the eldest child of TLC's Counting On family could remain in prison for quite some time.
Josh Duggar's sentencing memorandum: Here's what the prosecution requested.
The prosecution in Josh's case submitted a sentencing memorandum on May 11, seeking two decades in prison for the former reality TV star. In the 30-page document, the government requested from the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court a “guidelines-compliant sentence” of 20 years.
The filing went into detail about Josh's crimes, which included downloading and viewing more than 600 images consisting of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) over the course of four days. He did so with the help of a "hidden partition on his work computer" as well as a "BitTorrent Peer-to-Peer file-sharing client.”
In the sentencing memorandum, the prosecution highligthed Josh's “prior sexual exploitation of multiple minors” and allegations of “the extraordinary efforts Duggar took to obtain and view child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), the nature of the CSAM he obtained and viewed, his efforts to conceal his criminal conduct, and his refusal to take accountability for or acknowledge any of his criminal conduct.”
"There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the steps necessary to change this pattern of behavior and address his predilection for minor females. Given these circumstances, this Court should be particularly mindful in crafting its sentence of the likelihood that Duggar reoffends upon his release from incarceration and what his reoffending conduct will entail.”
Michelle and Anna Duggar wrote letters to the judge asking for leniency for Josh.
Meanwhile the defense submitted its own memorandum asking for a much lighter five-year prison sentence, one that is "sufficient but not greater than necessary," quoting an “age-old adage [that] ‘justice must be tempered with mercy.’”
Both Josh's mom Michelle and his wife Anna, among other friends and family members, also submitted character letters to Judge Timothy L. Brooks in hopes that he would be lenient with Josh's sentencing. "He is a good provider for his family, working diligently and thinking of creative ways to support and take care of his wife and children," Michelle wrote, according to People, noting that Josh has a "tender heart" and is "compassionate toward others."
The Duggar matriarch/mother of 19 added: "If someone is having a difficult time, he is one of the first to encourage or try to help them in a tangible way. He and his wife and children have helped many others by doing cleaning and repair projects and lending a helping hand."
Similarly, Anna’s letter spoke to Josh's work ethic, referencing when she used to work with him at his car lot. “There, I admired my husband's diligence in his work and also his perspective — that people are more important than a quick sale," she wrote. "Joshua would often spend hours out of his day chatting with and listening to various homeless people who would pass by on the sidewalk."
Josh's wife and mother of their seven children continued: “Joshua is an engaged dad who gladly throws a football with his sons, listens to our daughters play a new song they have learned on the piano, helps answer homework questions, or lends a hand sweeping up spilled crackers. He is a kind, loving, supportive, and caring father and husband — his primary focus in life."
Josh Duggar's sentencing will take place on May 25, 2022.