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Josh Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of receiving and possessing child porn — but both his mother and his wife are pleading with the judge for a light sentence, citing Josh’s ‘tender heart’ and arguing that he is ‘considerate, respectful, quick to forgive, [and] patient.’
Josh has been in prison since he was found guilty on December 9, with his sentencing scheduled for May 25.
This week, his defense team filed its sentencing memorandum, including character references from his mother, Michelle, and his wife, Anna.
In her letter to the judge, Michelle, 55, says her son is ‘compassionate toward others,’ ‘a positive and upbeat person,’ and ‘an organized and diligent individual’ — and should be ‘reunited with his wife and family in a timely manner.’
Meanwhile, Anna, 33, describes herself as still ‘happily married’ to Josh, writing that the convicted sex offender is ‘the kindest person I know’ and ‘loving, supportive, and caring father’ to his seven children.
Josh Duggar, 34, was found guilty of receiving and possessing child porn on December 9 and is awaiting sentencing on May 25
His mother, Michelle, and his wife, Anna, both wrote letters to the judge describing Josh’s ‘character’ and pleading for a light sentence
Michelle and Anna are up against the prosecution’s recommendation, which is that Josh receive the maximum sentence of 240 months, or 20 years.
Josh was convicted after investigators found a horrific trove of photos and videos of children being sexually abused on his computer, including files depicting toddlers.
But his mother argues he is a good man.
‘My heart is to share some things about Joshua’s character that may not be fully known to the court. It is my sincere hope these things are taken into consideration as a fair and just sentence is determined,’ she wrote.
‘Joshua has a tender heart and he is compassionate toward others. If someone is having a difficult time, he is one of the first to encourage or try to help them in a tangible way,’ she went on, describing how he and his family help others with cleaning and repair projects.
‘Joshua has always been a positive and upbeat person. He is wife financially — saving money for the future and purposing not to go into debt. He is a good provider for his family, working diligently and thinking of creative ways to support and care of his wife and children,’ she continued.
Michelle, 55, said her son is ‘compassionate toward others,’ ‘a positive and upbeat person,’ and ‘an organized and diligent individual’
‘He has set a good example of applying himself eagerly to his work and in the many other responsibilities that he carries as a husband and father,’ wrote Michelle
‘He is also generous and shares his resources with others in need,’ she said, describing how he has given financial assistance to a friend’s widow.
‘On a personal level, Joshua is an organized and diligent individual. He has set a good example of applying himself eagerly to his work and in the many other responsibilities that he carries as a husband and father,’ wrote Michelle.
‘Joshua is a loving and patient man, striving to be a blessing and provide for his family. He has also spent quality time with his wife and children learning life skill stogether and going on family outings.
‘Side by side, Joshua and his family have built forts, learned how to work on bicycles and other vehicles, gone camping, hiked, fished, and played countless games and sports — together!
Michelle wrote that Josh ‘has friends and family who will love and support him in his abilities to succeed as a husband, father, business owner, and man both now and in the future’ and she offers her ‘continued love and encouragement to Joshua.’
‘We ask that he would be reunited with his wife and family in a timely manner,’ she concluded, signing her name with a heart over the letter ‘i.’
Anna 33, describes herself as still ‘happily married’ to Josh, writing that the he is ‘loving, supportive, and caring father’ to his seven children
‘Joshua and I met 16 years ago,’ she wrote. ‘We were happily married on September 26, 2008’
This has been the clearest sign of support from Michelle, who didn’t attend a single day of Josh’s trial last November and December — though her husband, Jim Bob, did turn up on a few occasions.
Anna, meanwhile, attended every day of the trial by Josh’s side, holding his hand as they entered and exited the courthouse.
She made her first comment about the trial in February, telling social media followers that there was ‘more to the story’ and linking to appeal filings.
In a letter dated March 7, Anna asked the Judge Timothy L. Brooks to consider details about ‘the man I know and love’ prior to sentencing.
‘Joshua and I met 16 years ago,’ she wrote. ‘As our friendship grew over the next two years, I saw what I know to be even more true today — that Joshua is considerate, respectful, quick to forgive, patient, and genuinely the kindest person I know.
‘We were happily married on September 26, 2008,’ she went on, reflecting how they spent the first years of their marriage working together ‘at our used car lot,’ where she ‘admired my husband’s diligence in his work and also his perspective — that people are more important than a quick sale.’
She said he is an ‘engaged dad’ and they rely on him for ‘financial, emotional, and physical support’
She recalled how he would spend ‘hours out of his day’ talking to ‘various homeless people.’
‘Joshua cared for each person because they are created in the image of God, and that is what determines their value, not social status,’ she wrote.
Anna said Josh worked hard to provide for her and their seven children, ‘but the happiest part of the day by far is when Daddy comes home from work, and his cheerful voice fills the house.’
‘Joshua is an engaged dad who gladly throws a football with his sons, listens to our daughters play a new song they have learned on the piano, helps answer homework questions, or lends a hand sweeping up spilled crackers. He is a kind, loving, supporive, and caring father and husband,’ she said.
Anna added that she and her kids reply on Josh for ‘financial, emotional, and physical support,’ and that he ‘frequently volunteers his time, services, and resources’ — including to the friend’s widow that Michelle mentioned.
Spilling onto a second page, Anna went on to say that her husband ’embodies’ this quote by Ronald Reagan: ‘There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.’
Anna said Josh ’embodies’ this quote by Ronald Reagan: ‘There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit’
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Duggar’s child porn lair revealed
By Ben Ashford For Dailymail.com
Duggar’s downfall began on May 14, 2019 when his computer made the first of two ‘digital handshakes’ with Detective Amber Kalmer of the Little Rock Police Department.
Kalmer was using a specialist police program called Torrential Downpour which targets pedophiles by catching them in the act of sharing child pornography files online.
Kalmer tipped off Feds, who traced the IP address to Wholesale Motorcars and seized Duggar’s office HP desktop, iPhone and MacBook.
The HP device can be seen in exclusive DailyMail.com images which give a glimpse inside the tiny office where the 19 Kids and Counting alum scoured the dark web for titles such as Pedo Mom and Playtot Sweetie.
Surrounded by junk and piles of clothes, the computer looks like a typical work machine and features a wholesome family wallpaper of the father-of-seven with his wife, Anna, and their kids.
This is the HP computer where Duggar secretly scoured the dark web for illegal footage of child sex abuse. On the surface, the desktop looks like a typical computer
But investigators found the HP had been set up with a complicated ‘dual-operating’ system called a Linux partition which created a secret, parallel worktop within the same device.
It could only be accessed by rebooting and entering the password intel1988 — the same code as Duggar’s internet banking and his family Instagram and Twitter accounts.
It’s behind this partition that prosecutors say Duggar used encrypted ‘peer2peer’ file-sharing networks to download and view ‘worst of the worst’ videos of prepubescent kids being abused before he was caught in an online police sting.
DailyMail.com obtained evidence photos of Duggar’s office at his business where he is said to have secretly downloaded a sick trove of child porn
Pictured: Duggar’s Apple laptop that was also seized by investigators during the raid. There was no evidence of child porn on the Macbook but it did contain backed up data from Duggar’s old iPhone 8 that allowed investigators to access his old texts and pictures
During the trial, jurors were shown dozens of FBI photos taken during a November 2019 raid on Duggar’s Wholesale Motorcars business.
His office was a tiny 10 ft. by 8 ft. cabin containing a desk, a chair, and an array of electronic devices including a CCTV system, printer, several webcams and a tangle of wires.
There were clothes thrown over a chair, a roll of paper towels on a cabinet, and an assortment of receipts and Post-It notes pinned to the wall.
During the raid, Duggar volunteered to speak with agents. But even without knowing anything about the nature of the probe, Duggar asked them: ‘Has someone been downloading child pornography?’
She finished with a lengthy anecdote about a man whom Josh helped start a business.
‘Joshua is surrounded by people who will encourage him to continue to become the best man, father, and employee he can be,’ she concluded, asking that the judge ‘consider reuniting us as a family again soon.
‘I understand the seriousness of this matter, however, I respectfully ask that you take this letter into consideration when determining a fair sentence,’ she said.
Anna had given no indication that she believed the charges against Josh at any point since his arrest in April of 2021.
While awaiting trial this year, Josh had been out on bail, but wasn’t allowed to live at his own home. Instead, he was put on house arrest at the home of family friends LaCount and Maria Reber.
This proved to be no obstacle for Josh and Anna’s marriage, with The Sun reporting in August that Anna had ‘pretty much moved in’ to the Rebers’ one-story house.
According to two sources, she stayed in the ‘mother-in-law suite.’ It was unclear whether Josh was also staying in that room, though the stipulations of his bail did not bar him from sleeping with his wife.
Anna had given no indication that she believed the charges against Josh at any point since his arrest in April of 2021
Though Anna, who was then pregnant with their seventh child, was able to stay there, Josh was barred from staying in the same house as their other six children: Mackynzie Renée, 12, Michael James, 10, Marcus Anthony, eight, Meredith Grace, 6, Mason Garrett, 4, and Maryella Hope, 2.
Faced with the choice to live with her kids or her husband, Anna prioritized her husband, relying on family members to care for their children.
During that time, the insider said Anna believed Josh was innocent, and blamed both Josh’s parents and President Joe Biden for his arrest.
‘Jim Bob is telling people she is defending Josh and no longer speaking to most of the family,’ a source told The Sun last year.
‘Jim Bob said she blames him and wife Michelle for Josh’s arrest. Anna feels it all stems from how they dealt with his previous molestation scandal after he assaulted his sisters.
‘She also thinks that this case is a conspiracy theory against her husband set up by the Biden administration,’ the source said. ‘She believes that if Donald Trump was still in power this would not be happening, and refuses to believe he’s done anything wrong.’
Josh stated at the home of third party custodians LaCount and Maria Reber before and during the trial. Anna is said to have moved in as well, leaving her children with family
After his conviction, Josh was taken to Washington County Detention Center in Arkansas, where he is awaiting sentencing.
Anna has since taken full advantage of video visitation.
Anna had remained by Josh’s side through past scandals, including when, in 2015, an unearthed police report revealed that Josh had sexually abused four of younger siblings, as well as a fifth minor, when he was a teenager.
Months later, he was discovered to have had an account on the adultery website Ashley Madison.
But while Josh sought faith-based treatment, Anna stuck by him.
‘It was definitely hard, and I think it is such a betrayal for a spouse to go through what we’re walking through,’ she in a 2015 episode of Counting On. ‘It was hard to realize that it was such a public [ordeal].’
‘Here we were as a Christian couple, everyone was able to see us get married and vow before God to be loyal to each other, and that loyalty was broken. For my heart it was just like, “How could this happen in our marriage?” Josh is my first love, my one and only,’ she went on.
Anna had remained by Josh’s side through past scandals, including when, in 2015, an unearthed police report revealed that Josh had sexually abused four of younger siblings, as well as a fifth minor, when he was a teenager
Despite her heartbreak, she intended to keep her marriage vows.
‘In my heart, when I got married, I vowed to God first and then to Joshua, “For better or for worse, ’til death do we part.” I pray that through all of this that I would be an extension of God’s love to Joshua, that I would love him and forgive him and wait patiently and allow God to work through our hearts.
‘My prayer and my heart’s desire is for our marriage to be restored,’ she said.
Anna was praised by Josh’s family for her steadfastness, with Josh’s younger sister Joy Anna saying, ‘I’m really amazed by the strength that God has given Anna and just how she’s going through all of this and having a good attitude about it all even though it’s so hard and you know it hurts really bad.’
Her own parents, Mike and Suzette Keller, also urged her to stay, telling her ‘divorce is not an option,’ according to People. In fact, Mike reportedly defended Josh by pointing out that King David had an affair with Bathsheba in the Bible.
While some viewers suggested Anna was ‘trapped’ — she has no formal education, no work experience, and several children already by that point — some of her own siblings encouraged her to leave.
According to People, Anna’s younger sister reportedly texted Anna saying, “Please let me buy you and the kids plane tickets, and you stay with us for a little while,” but Anna refused to take her up on it.
Her brother Daniel also reportedly offered to help her, and wrote on Facebook at the time: ‘I won’t stop trying to get that pig out of our family,” he wrote on Monday.’
In 2016, Anna wrote about moving forward in a blog post, saying: ‘2015 was the most difficult year of my life. Yet, amazingly I’ve found that in my own life crisis God has drawn near to me (“He’s near to the brokenhearted” Psalms 34:18) and my faith has been more precious to me than ever before.’
For some time after, Anna refrained from posting pictures of Josh on Instagram, but with time, she was back to including him on social media.
‘Redemption is a beautiful thing!’ she told a fan who commented on Josh’s presence in Instagram photos.