On December 9, 2021 Josh Duggar was found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
In the months since the verdict was rendered, the disgraced reality star has been held in solitary confinement in an Arkansas county jailhouse as he awaits sentencing.
Josh’s sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for this month, but his lawyers succeeded in having it postponed to give them more time to prepare.
Since there have been no further filings from either side since March 24, it seems that the hearing will be held as scheduled on May 25.
For Josh, the sentencing hearing is almost as consequential as the day that his verdict was announced.
Not only will the judge decide the length of his sentence, he’ll also determine where Josh will serve his time.
Since Duggar was convicted in federal court, he could technically be sent anywhere in the country.
But since his wife Anna Duggar just gave birth to her seventh child late last year, Josh will probably be kept close to home for the sake of his family.
It’s unlikely, however, that the judge will show compassion in other areas.
Several factors will be considered in determining how long Josh should remain behind bars.
His family and friends — if he still has any friends — will read statements in open court in the hope of compelling the judge to be lenient.
The prosecution will present victim impact statements in the hope of pushing the judge in the opposite direction.
Josh faces up to 20 years behind bars, but legal experts say he’ll likely receive a shorter sentence.
It’s difficult to know what will happen, however, as there are few precedents for Josh’s case.
Technically, he’s a first offender, having never been convicted of a crime before.
But Josh molested five young girls while he was still in his teens, and his parents shielded him from legal consequences.
Those assaults were deemed admissible as character evidence in Josh’s trial, so they’ll likely be considered at his sentencing hearing too.
So Josh is a first offender, but he also has a well-documented history of predatory behavior.
The judge will almost certainly consider that history in determining his sentence, but since Josh’s victims were his sisters, they probably won’t present victim statements to the court.
Needless to say, there will be much for the judge to consider in determining Josh’s sentence.
In the end, he probably won’t receive a 20 year sentence, and he’ll likely be eligible to serve only a fraction of his time if he behaves himself while behind bars.
So there’s a chance that the 34-year-old will serve less than a decade in prison.
But when he gets out, Josh will be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
He’ll likely be in his late forties by then and virtually unemployable anywhere except for the businesses owned by his father.
As the son of an affluent family, Josh’s return to the society will be easier than that of most ex-cons, but the comfortable life he once knew is certainly gone forever.
But that’s probably cold comfort for Josh’s many victims, whose lives were also forever altered, but at a much younger age.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.