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Prosecutors Want Maximum Sentence For Josh Duggar, Arguing He Has 'Pervasive And Violent Sexual Interest In Children’

While prosecutors argued in a sentencing memo for a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, Josh Duggar's attorneys continue to proclaim the reality star's innocence and suggested a much lighter sentence of five years in prison.

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Josh Duggar Convicted On Child Pornography Charges
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Federal prosecutors have asked for a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars for Josh Duggar following his child pornography conviction, arguing that the former reality star has a “deep-seated, pervasive and violent sexual interest in children.”

Prosecutors submitted a 30-page sentencing document to the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court on Wednesday describing in depth why they believe the 34-year-old should face the harshest punishment possible for downloading “depraved” child sex abuse material (CSAM).

“Distressingly, the market for child pornography has continued to grow, and to become more depraved in recent years,” prosecutors wrote, according to the memorandum obtained by Law & Crime. “That depravity is evident here. As noted above, Duggar sought out images and videos depicting prepubescent minors being subjected to sadistic and masochistic abuse.”

Josh Duggar Pd

Duggar was convicted in December of receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. One of the charges will be dismissed during the sentencing however, giving him a maximum possible sentence of 20 years behind bars.

His conviction stems from a four-day period in May of 2019 when prosecutors said Duggar used a “hidden partition on his work computer” at an Arkansas used car dealership to install a “BitTorrent Peer-to-Peer file sharing client” to download hundreds of photos and videos depicting sexual abuse of children “as young as toddlers,” according to the document, which was also obtained by Arkansas station KNWA.

They believe Duggar meets the criteria for sentencing enhancements, described as a “five-level enhancement” for secretly downloading 600 or more images depicting graphic abuse onto the work computer.

“As an initial matter, Duggar used multiple means—uTorrent and Tor—to search for and download CSAM of a sadistic nature, including CSAM depicting prepubescent minors being subjected to violent abuse,” prosecutors wrote. “Moreover, he went to great lengths to conceal his conduct from others, presumably so he could engage in it undetected and undeterred.”

Duggar’s defense team has disputed the sentencing enhancements arguing in their own motion obtained by KNWA/KFTA that Duggar—who still maintains his innocence—is a “fully devoted” family man.

They asked for a punishment that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” and advocated for a sentence of five years behind bars.

“Duggar continues to have so much good to offer the world,” the defense wrote. “We ask that this Court give him that opportunity.”

They are argued that “there was absolutely no evidence that Duggar ‘knowingly’ distributed any materials” and said that the evidence suggested there had been 127 images not the 600 prosecutors claimed.

However, prosecutors clapped back, writing in their motion that Duggar had “knowingly” distributed the CSAM materials to Detective Amber Kalmer, the Little Rock officer who first uncovered the activity, and called the defense’s argument against the sentencing enhancements baseless.

“Duggar’s barebones objection to this enhancement should be denied because the evidence produced at trial, which included visual depictions from Duggar’s computer of prepubescent girls being vaginally penetrated and bound with rope, easily satisfies the requirements to apply this enhancement,” they wrote.

Prosecutors also referenced Duggar’s alleged predatory past.  Duggar was accused of molesting four minor victims—including his own sisters—as an adolescent in a scandal that came to light when “In Touch Weekly” published a police report about the alleged abuse.

Duggar, who later issued an apology for “wrongdoing,” was never charged in connection to the abuse, but family friend Bobye Holt testified about the abuse during Duggar’s federal trial.

Prosecutors believe Duggar’s past “provides an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children.”  

“His victims, four in total, were all prepubescent females, including several who were significantly younger than Duggar. And now, similarly, the victims depicted in the CSAM that Duggar has been convicted of downloading and possessing were all girls, all of similar age, and all being sexually exploited. This is not coincidental,” they wrote, suggesting that it represents a “pattern.”

Duggar’s defense team argued that Duggar had been a minor himself at the time and said adding an enhancement for the uncharged alleged conduct would be “entirely unwarranted.”

While advocating for the maximum possible sentence, prosecutors also included a quote from the mother of one of the children depicted in the images in the lengthy memo to show the real-life harm caused to the victims.

“I can find no words to express the fury I feel at those who participate in this evil, or my scorn for any attempt to minimize the responsibility by feeble claims that the crime was ‘victimless,'” the parent said. “My daughter is a real person. She was horribly victimized to provide this source of ‘entertainment.’ She is exploited anew each and every time an image of her suffering is copied, traded or sold. While the crime is clearly conscienceless, it is hardly ‘victim-less.'”

Her mother said her daughter, who struggles now with anxiety, also had a message for the judge: “Please, don’t let them pretend no one’s getting hurt!”

In their memo, Duggar’s defense team included letters from the father of seven’s friends and family, including his wife Anna Duggar, and called him a “wonderful father and husband.”

“The real Josh Duggar is not the caricature often portrayed in the public spotlight to sell a tabloid or to generate internet traffic — it is a profoundly hardworking man committed with every grain in his body to his family, his faith, and to helping those around him at any cost,” they argued.

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