Josh Duggar’s family, Joy-Anna Duggar and her husband Austin Forsyth have spoken about his child pornography charges.
In a statement issued in her Instagram story, Joy-Anna, 23 and Austin, 27 addressed the controversy surrounding Josh Duggar.
Duggar was arrested on April 29 and has pleaded not guilty to two charges: one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
“The recent accusations brought against Josh sadden us to our core,” the couple’s statement read, as quoted by People magazine. “We have not wanted to be hasty in making any statements while trying to process the news ourselves. We are especially heartbroken by the reality that there are children in the world being harmed and exploited.”
“We ask for prayer for all those involved, and it is our continued prayer that the truth comes to light,” the statement added.
Previously, Josh’s other sibling Jinger Duggar and her husband Jeremy Vuolo spoke out on Instagram.
“We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh,” the couple said in a joint statement. “While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice.”
Josh was spotted leaving the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Thursday.
According to a virtual hearing held on Wednesday, a judge ruled that Josh would be released from custody provided that he must stay with third-party custodians, Lacount and Maria Reber, and be confined to their home with GPS tracking.
The outlet noted that Josh was granted “unlimited contact” with his six children as long as his pregnant wife Anna Duggar is present. He is not allowed to see any other minor child, including his nieces and nephews.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Arkansas revealed Josh faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines of $250K on each of the two counts if he is convicted, making his total possible sentence 40 years.
His pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 1 and the trial will begin on July 6.
People magazine also pointed out that in 2015, the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19 children apologized for his “wrongdoing” following the release of a 2006 police report that revealed he had been investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls.
His two sisters Jill, 29, and Jessa, 28, stepped forward as two of the victims.
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