Josh Dugar was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison at a federal courthouse in Fayetteville, Arkansas yesterday for accepting and possessing child pornography.
It was the end of a story that began again in November 2019, when federal agents raided Josh’s business premises based on information obtained during an online sting operation.
Several members of Josh’s family were present for the sentencing hearing, but most of his 18 siblings were absent from the proceedings.
The first to appear in court was Anna Dugar, who was by her husband’s side during the trial.
No cameras were allowed in the courtroom, but several witnesses have now shared how Josh’s family responded to the news that he could be locked up by 2034.
Viewers say Anna Dugar did not show “any emotion” as the sentence unfolded.
Other witnesses told the UK tabloid The sun Anna appears to be fighting tears as she leaves the courtroom after the hearing.
Despite rumors that Anna was planning to divorce Josh after her arrest, the mother of seven was stuck with her husband throughout the trial, and several insiders have confirmed that she is still convinced of her innocence.
So it must have been a shock for Anna to hear Judge Josh describe the crime as “the sickest of the sick.”
“You did something very bad,” Judge Timothy L. Brooks continued, What could be the devaluation of the century.
“But overall in your life, you’ve done something good … The real test of a person’s character is what a person does when no one is watching.”
Noting that Josh insisted on his innocence, Judge Brooks commented:
“I think it’s worse about the lack of responsibility.”
Anna wrote a letter to the judge asking for a more humble sentence so that Josh could “reunite” with his children when they were still young.
Michelle Dugar wrote a similar letter, as did Anna’s brother and two longtime Duggar neighbors.
Interestingly, none of Josh’s 18 siblings wrote a letter to the judge.
Fortunately, Judge Josh also heard from the victims and their families.
A Victim Impact statement read, “The parents of one of the victims depicted in CSAM, as explained by the respondent, have become ‘a worried and anxious shadow of his ex-soul’ after his daughter was sexually abused.”
And while talking about the damage caused by criminals like Duggar, who trafficked pictures depicting the worst moments of his daughter’s life, he wrote:
“I cannot find a word to express the resentment I feel towards those who take part in this evil deed, or my condemnation for any attempt to reduce liability by weakly claiming that the crime was ‘torture’,” the statement continued.
Insiders reported In contact Jim Bob and Michelle Dugar “want Anna to be with them” and “wait” Josh’s imprisonment.
The source noted that “everyone sympathizes” and several family members offered to help as much as they could.
“Anna has endured a lot with Josh, but she truly trusts him, her faith and salvation,” a source told the outlet.
“He thought he would turn his life around. It’s a core belief he shares with Dugar and his religion,” the insider continued.
“Ultimately, Josh has failed him. He has completely turned his life upside down and the lives of their children. But he is not ready to move.”
Of course, if Anna still believes that Josh has been framed, her frustration is not with her husband, but with the American criminal justice system.
And unfortunately, it seems that Josh’s parents are similarly convinced of his innocence – which means that Josh will be released into a support network of activists after he completes his sentence.
This is just one of the reasons why many believe that 12 years is not long enough.