Duggar accuses FBI agents of seeking an “unprecedented” 20-year sentence


Duggar accuses FBI agents of seeking an "unprecedented" 20-year sentence

  • Josh Duggar is due to be sentenced on May 25 after being found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
  • The Feds have argued that Duggar should get 20 years, while Duggar’s team argued for only five.
  • In a Wednesday court filing, Duggar’s attorneys called a 20-year sentence “unnecessarily harsh.”

Former reality TV star Josh Duggar complained in court filings on Wednesday that federal prosecutors had sought an “exaggerated, utterly unjustified and unprecedented” 20-year sentence for his child pornography conviction.

Duggar, 34, filed a sentencing memorandum last week, suggesting the judge give him a sentence of just five years imprisonment and noting that Duggar intends to appeal the jury’s guilty verdict. Prosecutors noted in a separate court filing on Wednesday that Duggar’s proposed five-year sentence was “the lowest sentence permitted by law.”

Duggar’s Wednesday court filing argued that the government had sought an “unnecessarily harsh sentence” and said no other “defendant in a similar position” had ever received 20 years in prison. Duggar’s attorneys argued that other child pornography defendants who had served lengthy sentences possessed far greater amounts of child sexual abuse material or had longer criminal records than Duggar did.

Duggar was convicted last December after a week-long jury trial of receipt and possession of child pornography in May 2019. Federal prosecutors had accused Duggar of downloading hundreds of child sexual abuse materials, including images and videos, using

desktop computer

at his dealership in Arkansas.

Duggar has maintained his innocence, and his lawyers claimed in court that Duggar was not the only person who had access to the office computer where the child sexual abuse material was found.

Duggar is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25.

Josh Dugger

In this August 29, 2014 file photo, FRC Action executive director Josh Duggar speaks out in favor of the Painful Unborn Child Protection Act at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Associated Press/Danny Johnston

Duggar’s attorneys argued in their court filing Wednesday that child sexual abuse material found on Duggar’s computer contained images that “were either only partially downloaded, never downloaded, or deleted before being opened.”

“To be clear, no one disputes the extent to which real children are victims of child pornography crimes – but the Government’s focus in its sentencing note is clearly intended to provoke an emotional response in the hope that this court will hand down an unnecessarily harsh sentence. “

Prosecutors argued in their sentencing note last week that the “sadistic” images and videos Duggar downloaded should inform his sentencing. Some of the materials contained videos and images of pre-adolescent girls as young as 7 or 8 being penetrated and violently abused.

One file even showed the sexual abuse and torture of an infant, prosecutors said, adding that a computer forensics expert described the file as “one of the most offensive series on [child sexual abuse material] he’s seen in his career.”

Duggar’s attorneys concluded their court filing on Wednesday arguing that a five-year sentence followed by a supervised sentence “will be sufficient to satisfy all purposes of the sentencing.”

Prosecutors on Wednesday accused Duggar’s team of trying to “confuse and downplay the seriousness of his crimes,” and accused Duggar of playing the “victim” rather than holding himself accountable and seeking treatment that would help him prevent him from re-offending in the future.

“Without some acknowledgment from Duggar of his crimes and his need to address his demonstrated and longstanding sexual interest in children, it’s unlikely he will ever view his conviction as anything other than evidence that he needs to be more circumspect and secretive.” next time he engages in conduct involving child sexual abuse,” prosecutors wrote.

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