On Wednesday, Josh Duggar was sentenced to 12 and half years in prison in connection with his earlier conviction on child pornography charges.
Many were outraged that Josh didn’t receive a harsher sentence, but the consensus reaction has been one of relief.
Of course, 12 years is a drop in the bucket compared with the misery that Josh has caused during his decades of predatory behavior.
But at the very least, his victims can breathe easy in the knowledge that he won’t be able to damage any more lives while he’s behind bars.
Several members of the Duggar clan were in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, including Josh’s wife, Anna, his father, Jim Bob, and Joy-Anna, one of the four sisters Josh molested while he was still in his teens.
However, most of Josh’s siblings steered clear of the proceedings, including the other sisters whom he victimized in his youth.
In the hours after the sentence was announced, there was much speculation as to how Josh’s family was reacting to the news.
His supporters have yet to respond to the news publicly, but Jill Duggar — who was also victimized by Josh as a child — has issued a joint statement along with her husband, Derick Dillard.
“Yesterday we learned that Josh was given a 151 month sentence in federal prison for his crime of CSAM [child sexual abuse materials],” the Dillards wrote on their website.
“The last several weeks and months have been difficult emotionally. Yesterday was another one of those hard days. We are neither rejoicing nor disappointed by the sentence, but we are thankful it’s finally over.
“The Bible clearly states that God effects justice and vengeance through the governing authorities,” the statement continued.
“Though some believe Josh should have received a greater sentence and still fewer believe he should have received a lighter sentence, God has carried out his vengeance today for his unspeakable criminal activity.”
The Dillards went on to state that they believe justice was served, and to express their hope that 12 years behind bars will convince Josh to change his ways.
“Until now, he has yet to be held accountable to the extent necessary to cause change in his dangerous pattern of behavior,” Jill and Derick wrote.
“It is unfortunate, but it seems that it may take spending over a decade in federal prison, and still more on probation, for Josh to have any potential for rehabilitation to the point he can safely live in society again.
“Hopefully, Josh can actually begin to get treatment and begin to work toward a lifestyle where he is less likely to reoffend.”
The Dillards concluded with their hope that others might learn from Josh’s poor example,
“If for nothing else, the notoriety of this case has hopefully contributed to the deterrence of potential offenders and will help protect children by decreasing the demand for CSAM,” they wrote.
“We continue to love Josh and his family and will be there for them however we can.”
It’s a bold statement, considering Jill’s parents still believe that Josh is innocent, and that their son has been framed as part of some vast left-wing conspiracy.
Jill and Derick’s remarks come on the heels of a statement from Josh’s lawyers, who say they’re still fighting to overturn his conviction.
“We are grateful that the court dismissed one of only two counts of the indictment and that the court rejected the government’s request for a 240 month sentence,” defense attorney Justin Gelfand told reporters.
“We’ll immediately file the notice of appeal within the next 14 days, as required by law,” he continued.
Josh’s lawyers have already succeeded in having one count dropped, and they say they’re confident that the other charge will soon be dismissed.
“Mr. Duggar asserted his right to a trial,” Gelfand said.
“Mr. Duggar had a trial, we’re now down to one count. We look forward to litigating that one remaining count on appeal.”
For her part, Jill cut ties with her parents in 2019, with their continued defense of Josh allegedly a main motivating factor in her decision.
We’re sure Jim Bob and Michelle are less than thrilled about Jill’s recent statement.
But we’re equally sure that she doesn’t care what they think.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
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