Prosecutors recommend 20 years in prison for Josh Duggar

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On May 11, the prosecution submitted a sentencing memorandum in Joshua Duggar’s child pornography case in federal court for the Western District of Arkansas.

The detailed 30-page document ends with the government asking the court for a ‘guideline sentence’ of 20 years in prison for Duggar, 34, the former reality TV star who was convicted of receiving pornography juvenile and possession of children. pornography in December 2021. For sentencing purposes, one of these two charges was dismissed, so 20 years is the maximum possible sentence.

The filing begins by detailing Duggar’s two-count indictment in April 2021, as well as the subsequent trial for those charges and the guilty verdict. Next, he details his crimes: downloading and viewing child pornography over a four-day period, using a “hidden partition on his work computer” and a “BitTorrent Peer-to-Peer file-sharing client.”

The filing notes that “the calculation of United States probation under the United States sentencing guidelines set forth in the final PSR [pre-sentence report] reflects an indicative prison range of 360 months to life, which will be capped by the statutory maximum offense of 240 months for the first charge.

The memo goes on to state that “the conduct established at trial supports the application of all challenged enhancements and establishes that the offense involved 600 or more images, justifying the application of a five-level enhancement.”

The filing also notes Duggar’s “prior sexual exploitation of multiple minors” and “the extraordinary efforts Duggar made to obtain and view child sexual exploitation material (CSAM), the nature of the CSAM he has obtained and consulted, his efforts to conceal his criminal criminal conduct, and his refusal to take responsibility or acknowledge any of his criminal conduct”.

The prosecution also responds to objections raised by the defense regarding insufficient evidence. The document notes that a court need only “find facts…by a preponderance of the evidence.” They clarify this by explaining that to apply a sentencing enhancement, the court need only find that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant committed the relevant conduct.

The filing goes on to rebut the defense statement that “there was absolutely no evidence that Duggar ‘knowingly’ distributed any material”, calling him a “highly sophisticated computer user” who “distributed CSAM to Detective Amber Kalmer”, the Little Rock officer who first investigated Duggar’s activity. The government cites several prior cases to support its position that Duggar clearly and “factually” distributed CSAM himself.

The memo continued with support detailing the prosecution’s desire for an improved sentence due to “material that depicts sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” This included explicit descriptions of specific files that Duggar downloaded and distributed to law enforcement.

They also asked for an enhancement for “engaging in a pattern of activity involving the sexual abuse of minors” and cited Duggar’s “repeated acts of pedophilia” which were detailed during the trial by the testimony of family friend Bobye Holt. The record also notes comments regarding assaults made by the defendant’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, during a preliminary hearing.

Again, the government has cited several relevant court cases that support its position in favor of improvement. They also disputed Duggar’s claims that his offense “only involved 127 images”, stating that the evidence presented at trial involved more than 600 images.

The memo goes on to explain the “great lengths” Duggar took to circumvent the Covenant Eyes accountability software on his computer in order to download CSAM and “at the same time conceal and therefore prolong his ability to engage in this conduct.”

It went to great lengths to download, install, and password protect this partition, all to avoid detection. Duggar, perhaps more than any other individual presented to this Court, was willing to exert exhaustive efforts to obtain a CSAM undetected. Duggar’s criminal activity was also deliberate and precise.

Government sentencing brief, filed May 11 in Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas

In a section titled “History and Characteristics of Duggar”, the document notes that Duggar has no criminal history, but that “facts adduced during the preliminary hearings and at trial establish that he previously assaulted four (4) underage women, either while they were asleep (therefore incapacitated) or too young to understand what Duggar was doing or defend themselves from his criminal behavior.The prosecution notes that although he is not convicted for this, his behavior past “offers an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children”.

“Duggar has a deep, pervasive and violent sexual interest in children,” the motion reads. “And a willingness to act on that interest.”

The following pages of the memo discuss “the need for the sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offence” in clear and detailed fashion, again citing relevant case law. It also includes a quote from a parent of one of the girls depicted in the illegal material Duggar uploaded, noting that his daughter “became an anxious and restless shadow of herself” after being sexually abused.

When asked what she wanted to tell the judge the most, the girl told her mother, “Please don’t let them pretend no one is hurt!

The filing goes on to cover “the need for the sentence to provide adequate deterrence and protect the public from further crimes”, calling this requirement “particularly high here” and citing the fact that the material contained much older prepubescent girls. young than Duggar “the single most important factor for the Court to consider in imposing sentence.

They go on to call Duggar “an offender who has a history of child sexual abuse, who has received no treatment or therapy for that conduct to speak of, who seems unlikely to seek or meaningfully participate in a treatment or therapy to remedy this conduct, and who continues to deny any responsibility for his past or present crimes.

There is simply no indication that Duggar will ever take the necessary steps to change this behavior and address his predilection for underage women. Given these circumstances, the Court should be particularly mindful, in crafting its sentence, of the likelihood that Duggar will reoffend upon release from incarceration and what his recidivist conduct will entail.

Government sentencing brief, filed May 11 in Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas

The memo also describes the illegal material Duggar uploaded as “among the worst of the worst” because “distressingly, the market for child pornography has continued to grow.” They add that there is no evidence that he poses a low risk of committing future crimes of this nature.

“It is imperative that the Court’s sentence be designed to ensure that he does not re-offend”, concludes the file, before asking for a sentence of 240 months to “guarantee this result”.

The sentencing memorandum was signed by US Attorney David Fowlkes, US Assistant. Attorney Dustin Roberts, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall and General Counsel William Clayman.

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