“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said in a statement to Us Weekly via their family rep on Friday, April 30. “The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
Josh, 33, was taken into custody and placed on a federal hold at the Washington County jail. He was detained without bail.
Josh was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on Friday. His trial is set to begin in July. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count.
The 19 Kids and Counting alum is the eldest child of Jim Bob and Michelle. The couple are also parents of twins Jana and John-David, 31, Jill, 29, Jessa, 28, Jinger, 27, Joseph, 26, Josiah, 24, Joy-Anna, 23, twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah, 22, Jason, 21, James, 19, Justin, 18, Jackson, 16, Johannah, 15, Jennifer, 13, Jordyn, 12, and Josie, 11.
Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, announced on April 23 that they are expecting their seventh child. “It’s a GIRL!!!!!” she captioned a video of the sex reveal via Instagram. “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 pair, who married in 2008, already share Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.
Josh was accused in 2015 of molesting multiple girls when he was 14. He admitted to the allegations and apologized in a lengthy statement at the time. He confessed to cheating on Anna, 32, later that year and completed a stint in rehab.
The family addressed the scandals in a March 2016 Good Morning America interview. “The devil took his best shot,” John-David said at the time. “And he tried to take our whole family down, but God has really used this to — instead of tearing us apart as a family, he’s using it to draw us together. … We’ve forgiven. We’re moving on and we’re looking to the future.”
Jinger, for her part, reflected on the fallout earlier this month. “Walking through that season, it was one of the hardest times of our lives,” she exclusively told Us. “It’s in those times where it’s not popular to be your friend, seeing how [our true friends] responded really showed us the love of Christ through them and through their friendships. I think that was something that stood out to me and I saw the friends who came so close and were like, ‘Hey, I’ll just sit with you,’ ‘I’ll bring you a meal or hang out with you if you want to.’ In those times I thought, ‘Man, that really meant the most.’”
Jinger then pointed out that the family had to navigate how to respond publicly. “Our family was way closer because of that, and in spite of that, I guess you’d say,” she revealed. “I will never forget how I felt in that moment. And I think even everything that happens in our lives — because we’re in the public eye — it makes it more challenging because then it’s not just dealing with these things inwardly, but you have to give an answer to the world. That makes it a much tougher thing to walk through.”
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