It’s been six months since Josh Duggar was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography, but the disgraced reality star still hasn’t been sentenced.
Josh’s sentencing hearing was supposed to take place in April, but his lawyers successfully lobbied to have it pushed back to May 25.
With the day of reckoning fast approaching, Josh’s family and friends (yes, apparently he still has friends) have been submitting letters to the judge requesting a lenient sentence.
Not surprisingly, one of those letters comes from Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar.
Despite rumors that Anna Duggar is considering divorcing Josh, it seems that she’s as loyal to her husband as ever.
And her continued commitment to the disgraced former reality star is evident in the letter Anna wrote to the judge.
“Joshua sees the best in people and is willing to walk alongside them to help make their dreams a reality,” reads the letter, which was obtained by local Fox affiliate KNWA.
“I ask that you consider reuniting us as a family again soon.”
Josh’s mother, Michelle, also wrote to the judge on her son’s behalf.
“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,” Michelle’s letter reads.
“Joshua has always been a positive and upbeat person. He is a good provider for his family, working diligently and thinking of creative ways to support and take care of his wife and children. He is also generous and shares his resources with others in need.”
“I have personally observed Joshua Duggar being a man of integrity and take considerable loss after selling a vehicle to a friend of mine at his cost,” reads a letter from Pastor David Waller, who is married to Anna’s sister.
“He lives his life knowing that he will give an account someday to God for the choices and decisions he makes.”
“Please be merciful to this young man that has a wife and seven children that love him and need him,” Anna’s father, Michael E. Keller, wrote.
The defense also submitted a letter from LaCount Reber, who served as Josh’s guardian during his trial.
(Josh was not permitted to live with children while he was out on bail, and could therefore not stay at home with Anna and their seven kids.)
“It was interesting to see that Joshua always seemed to have a good attitude throughout the discouraging circumstances that he was facing,” Reber wrote.
In a pre-sentence report submitted by the prosecution, the DA’s office recommends a sentence of 20 years and encourages the judge to consider both the “sadistic and masochistic conduct” contained in the materials viewed by the defendant, as well as Josh’s earlier molestation of his sisters.
Josh’s lawyers had asked the judge not to consider any previous offenses, but the prosecution argues that the previous assaults demonstrate a “pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse or exploitation of a minor.”
The two sides also disagree on how many illegal images Josh viewed, with the defense arguing that “that only 127 images were allegedly located.”
“The facts adduced at trial prove that Duggar’s offense conduct involved over 600 images based on the hundreds of images and at least seven video files discussed above,” reads a memo from the prosecution.
Attached to the sentencing report were several witness statements, including remarks from a parent of one of the children who appeared in materials downloaded by Josh.
“I can find no words to express the fury I feel at those who participate in this evil or my scorn for any attempt to minimize the responsibility by feeble claims that the crime was ‘victimless,’” the parent wrote.
“My daughter is a real person. She was horribly victimized to provide this source of ‘entertainment.’ She is exploited anew each and every time an image of her suffering is copied, traded or sold.”
The statement concluded with comments from the victim herself, which read:
“Don’t you know no one should do that to a little girl! Don’t you know it hurts!”
The defense argues that Josh has lived an “admirable life” and faced “unique challenges,” and should therefore receive a sentence of only 5 years in prison.
“Given the unique circumstances of this case, Duggar respectfully requests a sentence of 60 months,” reads a statement from Josh’s attorneys.
Barring any further postponements, Josh will be sentenced on May 25.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
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