In Nov 2019, Federal agents raided former ’19 Kids and Counting’ star Joshua Duggar’s car dealership. He was arrested and booked on child pornography charges on April 29th, 2021.
Special Agent Gerald Faulkner testified that Josh had more than 200 images of child pornography on his computer, ranking in the top 5 of the worst he had ever seen. Josh downloaded the images between May 14 and May 16, 2019. The footage included images of children as young as 18 months being sexually abused.
If Josh is convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.
Josh has been released from jail to his designated third-party custodians as he waits for his July trial. In the interim, the judge has granted Josh unlimited contact with the kids, as long as Anna is present.
This is not the first time, Josh Duggar, 33 has been in trouble with underage children. A 2006 police report revealed that when he was a teenager, he was investigated for molesting 5 young girls, 4 of whom were his young sisters.
In August 2015, just months after the birth of his fourth child, Duggar was exposed for having active accounts on Ashley Madison, a website created to enable cheating on a spouse.
Josh ultimately confessed to having a pornography addiction and cheating on his wife, Anna Duggar, in an apologetic statement on the Duggar family website.
Josh sought treatment at a faith-based rehabilitation center in Rockford, Illinois. Six months later he returned to Arkansas, where he continued to receive professional counseling and focus on rebuilding relationships with his family.
Anna took him back in spite of everything. She said even though the infidelity had hurt her tremendously, she had made a promise to God and Josh on their wedding day to stand by him always.
They entered into marriage counseling and kept a low profile. They had 2 more children in the following years. Just a week before Josh’s arrest in April 2021, Anna announced the impending arrival of baby#7 on her Instagram post.
Anna, 32 has come under attack for standing by Josh and for bringing her kids in harm’s way. She’s been labeled accountable, weak, brainwashed, submissive, even called a cult member.
My heart goes out to Anna and those innocent children. After giving her husband a second chance and doing all the hard work to rebuild trust, he let her down again magnificently.
I cannot imagine how humiliating it must feel to have every dirty detail of her husband’s charges splashed all over the media. This young mother-to-be is going through enough trauma. Does she need to face public condemnation on top of the shame and betrayal?
People are speculating about how Josh must have already abused his children. While this is a real possibility, it is harmful to be speculating and spreading rumors about these young children. As part of the procedures, authorities will make a full investigation.
What’s done in the dark will always come to light.
I used to watch ‘19 kids and Counting’ when I was a stay-at-home mom. The Duggars portrayed themselves as a very clean Christian family rooted in deeply religious beliefs.
Though I didn’t agree with many of their very conservative beliefs, I bowed down to Michelle Duggar for her patience in dealing with her large brood. Here I was pulling my hair out with just 3 kids.
When Josh married Anna, she seemed to possess the same qualities as Michelle. She is an immensely patient, loving, and present mother. Even through all her painful trials with Josh, she has kept her focus on the kids and remained unwavering. This must not have been easy and is very commendable in my eyes.
I can’t say the same for Josh. He is even smiling in his mugshot, not caring in the least how these allegations will devastate his wife and kids.
The biggest question I have about this case is -Can people with pedophilic interests be rehabilitated? If anything this case shows us that pedophilia cannot be prayed away.
Dr James Cantor, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, reached a startling and controversial conclusion after exploring the brains of pedophiles using MRI scans.
“Pedophilia is a sexual orientation.” he says. “Pedophilia is something that we are essentially born with, does not appear to change over time and it’s as core to our being as any other sexual orientation is.”
According to the ‘Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers’ -
“For an individual whose sexual behavior is driven by a sexual interest in prepubescent children, effective treatment cannot focus on changing this interest, but on managing these sexual urges and fantasies and assisting the client in finding a healthy expression for sexuality.”
A study by the ‘Center for Research on Violence Against Women’ found that child molesters who are fixated on children (typically diagnosed as pedophiles) have the highest risk of sexual reoffending which increases with the number of victims they have previously abused.
Incest-only offenders are the least likely to re-offend, and incest may be linked to a broader pattern of domestic violence.
The most reliable predictor of reoffending for sex offenders seems to be a history of multiple sexual assaults against multiple victims.
Although treatments can be successful, the rate at which offenders re-offend or do not comply with treatment is very high. Pedophilia is a serious chronic disorder, long-term, compulsive and lifetime treatment is indicated for the majority of this population.
This case shines the spotlight on child sexual abuse and how it can be happening right under our noses with offenders often being the people we trust the most.
Those 200 images represent real little children somewhere who have had their innocence stolen from them. It is important that we are vigilant and pay attention to the people we surround our children with.
If you want to talk to someone anonymously, call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800.4.A.CHILD (422–4453), any time 24/7.