Prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence for Duggar, whose large family was the focus of TLC’s reality show 19 Kids and Counting. His lawyers have petitioned the court in Fayetteville, about 140 miles northwest of Little Rock, to send him to prison for five years.
Duggar was arrested in April 2021 after a Little Rock Police detective found child porn files being shared from a computer that was traced to Duggar. Investigators testified that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including infants, were downloaded to a computer at a Duggar dealership in 2019.
TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting in 2015 after allegations that Duggar had abused four of his sisters and a babysitter years earlier. Authorities began investigating the abuse in 2006 after receiving a tip from a family friend, but concluded that the statute of limitations on possible charges had expired.
Duggar’s parents said he confessed to the petting and apologized. After the allegations resurfaced in 2015, Duggar publicly apologized for unspecified behavior and resigned as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group.
Months later, he publicly apologized for cheating on his wife and a pornography addiction he then sought treatment for.
RELATED: TLC permanently cancels ’19 Kids and Counting’
In seeking a 20-year sentence, prosecutors cited the illustrative pictures – and the ages of the children involved – as well as court testimony about the alleged abuse of Duggar’s sisters.
Duggar’s past conduct “provides an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children that the court should consider when returning sentencing,” federal prosecutors wrote in their sentencing note.
“This prior behavior, when viewed in conjunction with the behavior for which he was convicted, makes it clear that Duggar has a deep-seated, pervasive, and violent sexual interest in children and is willing to act on that interest,” the statement reads the court records.
Prosecutors also found that Duggar’s computer had been partitioned to bypass accountability software installed to report activities such as porn searches to his wife, experts said.
“There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the necessary steps to change this pattern of behavior and address his fondness for underage women,” prosecutors wrote.
Duggar has claimed he is innocent and intends to appeal, his attorneys wrote in their sentencing note.
“Duggar accepts that he stands before this court for trial and that this court must impose a sentence,” his attorneys wrote. “This is justice. But Duggar also appeals to the discretion of this court to mitigate that justice with mercy.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks – who will sentence Duggar on Wednesday – denied Duggar’s request for acquittal or a new trial.
The video in the player above is from a previous report.
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