Josh Duggar only deserves a very slight sentence for his mostly harmless crimes because he’s a pretty good guy who hasn’t broken the law before.
So argue lawyers for the convicted sex offender, at least.
Late on May 18, Duggar’s defense team filed an official response — in the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville — to the prosecution asking a judge to sentence its client to 20 years behind bars.
To open, this response tried to emphasize that legal precedent doesn’t exist for sending Josh Duggar to prison for such a long period of time.
It claimed that “the Government has not pointed to a single case in which a similarly-situated defendant has received a 20-year sentence for receipt of child pornography."
And it added that such a sentence would be “excessive, entirely unwarranted, and unprecedented given the alleged crime.”
The word "alleged" seems out of place there… considering Duggar was found guilty in December of downloading sexually graphic material of children under the age of 12. This is not a mere allegation.
The document continued by objecting to the government’s filings that have described in graphic detail some of the illegal Child Sexual Assault Material (CSAM) downloaded on Duggar’s desktop computer.
Duggar’s team granted that "real children are victims of child pornography crimes," yet tried to maintain that Duggar didn’t really do anything wrong here.
Much of the illegal material in question, according to these attorneys, “was either never on the computer in the first place or was never viewed by any user of the computer.”
Yes, Duggar is still trying to argue that he didn’t view the explicit photos discovered by federal agents on his old workplace computer.
The document also reiterates that Duggar’s crimes occurred over “the course of a few days" — as if that matters in some way — and that six months transpired between the downloads and the execution of a search warrant at Duggar’s car lot.
The first section of the document concludes with the defense repeating that a five-year sentence would be “sufficient, but not greater than necessary.”
Over the past several days, as Duggar awaits his sentencing on May 25, both the prosecution and defense have filed a number of documents in an attempt to sway the sentencing judge one way or another.
This is typical legal maneuvering.
Duggar’s case has simply garnered extra attention due to the fame of the former reality star and the heinous nature of his crimes.
The final section of this latest filing, meanwhile, outlined the defense’s objection to the government’s categorization of Duggar’s “pattern of activity,” calling cases that the prosecution cited “largely irrelevant to its analysis."
This is a reference to Duggar having confessed in 2015 to molesting numerous young girls back when he was a teenager, including his own sisters.
The defense doesn’t think these incidents should be considered by a judge at the time of sentencing.
“There was no juvenile adjudication, much less a conviction," the defense states in bringing up Josh’s past misdeeds, which were covered up at the time by his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle.
The defense also alleged that the entire basis for this enhancement relies on “hearsay testimony" because a close family friend, Bobye Holt, testified at Duggar’s 2021 trial about what he supposedly told her had happened between himself and these underage girls.
The motion concluded with the defense again requesting the minimum five-year sentence… followed by a term of supervised release.
Duggar was found guilty on two child pornography charges in December.
He remains in custody at the Washington County jail while awaiting his May 25 sentencing.