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Duggar sister reacts to her brother's 12-year prison sentence: 'God has carried out his vengeance'

Josh Duggar
Former reality star Josh Duggar lost his case against the Arkansas authorities and InTouch Weekly's publishing company. |

Josh Duggar's sister and brother-in-law Jill and Derick Dillard say they are relieved he was finally held "accountable" after the 34-year-old was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison Wednesday for possessing child pornography. 

The Dillards released a statement on their blog Thursday, the day after the oldest son of Christian reality TV parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar was sentenced to 151 months in prison.

Derick Dillard, Jill Dillard
Derick Dillard and Jill Dillard are pictured in a Thanksgiving photograph posted to Instagram on Nov. 23, 2017. |

The former "Counting On" stars are "thankful" the case "is finally over" but stressed that the sentencing was part of God's "vengeance."

The Duggars, a conservative Christian family from Arkansas, were featured on the television shows "19 Kids and Counting" and "Counting On." In 2021, authorities found images of child pornography on a computer at a cardealership owned by Josh Duggar. Investigators accused Duggar of having over 200 images of child porn on his devices "ranging from about 18 months of age to 12 years of age." 

Duggar pled not guilty to the charges, and his defense claimed someone else was responsible for the illegal files on the computer. Investigators contend Duggar's claim is unlikely.

The judge rejected a defense motion for retrial on Tuesday. Along with the prison time, the father of seven will have to pay fines amounting to $50,100 and undergo 20 years of parole after his release.

He also can't have unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children. He will be required to attend sex offender treatment and is prohibited from watching pornography of any kind.

The Dillards, who married in 2014, said they are "neither rejoicing nor disappointed" over her brother's prison sentence.

"The last several weeks and months have been difficult emotionally. Yesterday was another one of those hard days," they wrote. 

"The Bible clearly states that God [affects] justice and vengeance through the governing authorities," the Dillards added. "Though some believe Josh should have received a greater sentence and still fewer believe he should have received a lighter sentence, God has carried out his vengeance today for his unspeakable criminal activity."

"Until now, he has yet to be held accountable to the extent necessary to cause change in his dangerous pattern of behavior," the Dillards continued. "It is unfortunate, but it seems that it may take spending over a decade in federal prison, and still more on probation, for Josh to have any potential for rehabilitation to the point he can safely live in society again." 

The couple hopes Duggar can "get treatment and begin to work toward a lifestyle where he is less likely to re-offend."

"If for nothing else, the notoriety of this case has hopefully contributed to the deterrence of potential offenders and will help protect children by decreasing the demand for CSAM," the statement concludes. "We continue to love Josh and his family and will be there for them however we can."

After the verdict, Josh Duggar's defense attorney said in a statement they are "grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government's request for a 240-month sentence."

Duggar will be on parole for 20 years after his release and can't have unsupervised contact with minors, including his own children. 

In 2015, it was revealed Duggar previously admitted to molesting his sisters when they were younger. The revelation led to the canceling of "19 Kids and Counting."

Duggar's cousin Amy King told Celebuzz that she thinks the 12.5-year sentencing "isn't enough." 

"I hope that every single second he's there feels like an eternity," she said.

King, the outspoken daughter of Jim Bob Duggar's sister, posted a video reaction on Instagram Wednesday night. 

"I knew him getting the maximum sentence wasn't going to be the easiest to prove since it's his first offense in the judge's eyes — which I hate — but at the same time, he cannot have his computer, he cannot hurt [and] exploit any more children and when he sees his kids, he has to be supervised," she said.

"Josh's sickness stems from somewhere, and eventually we will hear about the trauma. I don't know when, or how, or who but eventually I think more will come out. But hopefully tonight, I can sleep for the first time ever and rest assured that another monster will be put behind bars makes my heart feel a little lighter."]

Josh Duggar's younger brother, Jason "Jase" Duggar, also reacted to the news in a lengthy statement posted to his Instagram Story on Thursday.

"In my opinion, judge Timothy L. Brooks was fair in his ruling giving Josh a sentence that would be considered below the median for the crimes he has committed," he wrote. 

"My heart is grieved over the choices my brother has made, his actions do not reflect that of a Christian believer and have doubtlessly defamed my Lord and Saviors name!! Joshua's poor decisions have greatly effected [sic] those around him, in particular his wife, seven children and our family as a whole."

The former TLC star said he has forgiven his older brother for "his wrongdoings."

"With that said, I will never stop loving my brother, regardless of what he does, just as my savior has forgiven me so I have forgiven my brother of his wrongdoings!" he wrote. "My prayer is that God will use this circumstance to truly humble him and bring about a true change in his life!"

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