Josh Duggar, a former reality star of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, has been charged with receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children, TMZ reports.
A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Duggar Friday, alleging that in 2019, Duggar “knowingly” received images of children under the age of 12. The 33-year-old former TLC star has been charged on two counts pertaining to child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 on each count.
Duggar was arrested by U.S. Marshalls in Arkansas Thursday, according to statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office. He appeared in federal court Friday via video conference and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
“Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you’re accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do,” his attorneys, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne, said in a statement.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar posted a statement on their family website about the “very serious accusations” Duggar is facing.
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. 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,” they said.