Amy Duggar breaks down in tears & begs judge to give 'MONSTER' cousin Josh 'harshest sentence' in child pornography case
AMY Duggar broke down in tears and begged an Arkansas judge to give her “monster” cousin Josh the “harshest sentence” in his child pornography case.
Josh, 34, was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography in December and will be sentenced for the crimes on May 25.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Josh’s cousin Amy, 35, demanded her fallen family member receive the “harshest sentence” possible.
The oldest Duggar son requested just five years in prison, while the prosecution demanded he receives the maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.
Amy told The Sun when asked how long she believes her cousin should be sentenced: “There is a bible verse, Luke 17:2. 'It’s better to hang a millstone over your head and jump into the ocean if you’re going to hurt one of my little ones.'
“I’m sure he’s watched several children get hurt. If the bible says jump in the ocean and drown, how long would that equal in prison?”
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The Thirty1Thirty owner continued that 20 years in prison “isn’t enough” for her cousin.
She explained: “It’s not justice for the children. There will never be justice for the children. Twenty years isn’t enough.”
Amy, who shares son Daxton 2, with her husband Dillon King, grew up with Josh, as she would often visit her uncle Jim Bob and aunt Michelle’s Arkansas home.
She even made frequent appearances on 19 Kids and Counting.
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The series was canceled in 2015 when a police report taken in 2006 was released that revealed Josh molested five minor females in the family home as a teenager.
Amy said of her upbringing: “He was charismatic. He was funny. We had inside jokes. We didn’t talk all the time, but we kept in touch. We played all the time together outside. It was healthy play. He was a happy guy. I don’t know where that took a turn. I am clueless on that, truly.”
Amy began to distance herself from the family, and especially Josh, when she learned of the molestation and that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Anna, who continues to stand by him today.
Amy said: “There is no remorse… It’s almost sociopath. There is no emotion at all. It’s very immature and extremely heartbreaking.”
When Amy learned of the child pornography arrest that took place in April 2021, she said her “heart sank so low that day and it’s never honestly come back up.”
She continued: “It’s been one long hard heartbreak for the children. It’s so heavy. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.
“I knew he had a pornography problem, but I had no idea it went to the lowest of the low. Very demonic. Extremely demonic to enjoy that.
“Where did the turn happen? What caused this to happen? My only thought is there is trauma somewhere. I don't know if that trauma has been announced. I don't know who caused it. I don't know what happened.”
Amy continued that Josh has been “protected” his whole life, as he was the oldest out of 19 children.
But she insisted that patriarch Jim Bob, who she is no longer on speaking terms with, “can’t stop him from going to prison.”
She said: “He’s in for a rude awakening very much so, I don't know how he's feeling. I don't know if he feels like he has a good legal team and maybe it’ll work out for him. Either way, whatever prison he goes to is probably going to feel like a year every single day. He has no idea what’s to come.
“At this point, I think he’s lost his dang mind. He was privileged growing up. Weren’t we all? We were part of a TV show. You grow up on camera you think, you have perks. I don't think he’s ever really repented and taken responsibility for his actions because he’s never had to until now."
'HE'S A MONSTER'
Amy hasn’t reached out to her cousin and she has no plans to, as she said: “I would not speak to him. I have nothing to say. I have nothing to say. I never knew him. I never knew him.
“What a terrible life he’s lived and will be living. He’s a monster.”
But Amy did have something to say to Judge Timothy L. Brooks, who will sentence the father of seven on Wednesday.
In a letter she read to The Sun, which wasn’t used by the prosecution, she broke down as she begged the judge to not go easy on her cousin.
She read: “Dear Honorable Judge Brooks, my other family members have written to you with pleads of leniency for my cousin. They want you to consider his good acts instead of his heinous crimes. This is not that kind of letter.
“I am not interested in providing false character references for Josh as my other family members have so recklessly done. I trust this court doesn't need reminding that godly men of good character don't commit unspeakable crimes against children or that returning this monster to a family with young children without severe long-lasting consequences would surely be a disaster.
“Offering leniency as his legal team has requested would be an appalling slap in the face to the children already so grievously harmed. The harsh sentence this Court could impose could still never come close for the children hurt by these sinister acts. It upset me greatly to see that no one who chose to provide a character reference for Josh expressed any concern for the victims. None.”
Amy continued: “My cousin and his supporters would like you to believe that this is a victimless crime, but it is not. I want to remind the court that this is not only the victim that has been hurt, but their entire families.
“Everyone's lives have been altered because of what my cousin has done. As for Josh's character, I am just so grateful that I was protected from my cousin as a child. 20 years isn't enough. I truly believe that he will offend again, and my heart is with the victims and with you Judge Brooks.
“We are grateful for your wisdom in this matter, please hear us.”
LEARNING TO HEAL
Amy has chosen not to attend the sentencing, as she wants to “protect” her “mind and heart” from the crimes.
Instead, Amy plans to spend the day with her mother Deanna, who is the sister of Jim Bob, and son Daxton.
She said: “My day tomorrow, I will be spending it with my son at the zoo. I am going to be so grateful for the life I have and the husband I have. He is so faithful. He is so good to me. I am not going to focus on the other.
“Josh is going to go away for a really long time. He’s going to go away and he’s going to get the same treatment that he watched those kids get. It’s going to happen, guaranteed.”
The Sun previously reported that prosecutors are demanding the father of seven receive 20 years in prison.
The government wrote in the sentencing memorium: “In consideration of the extraordinary efforts Duggar took to obtain and view child sexual abuse material (CSAM), the nature of the CSAM he obtained and viewed, his efforts to conceal his criminal conduct, and his refusal to take accountability for or acknowledge any of his criminal conduct, the Government recommends the Court impose a guideline term of imprisonment of 240 months.”
'WORST OF THE WORST'
Prosecution then went into the type of child pornography Josh downloaded, calling it “sadistic," "masochistic " and "violent.”
The court papers read: “In fact, the forensic evidence presented at trial included multiple torrent files related to a series of CSAM that has repeatedly been described by law enforcement as being among the worst of the worst.”
Prosecutors claim over 600 images of child pornography were involved in the case, as opposed to Josh’s team arguing there were 127 photos.
Judge Brooks will decide on the exact number of years based on a range determined by the Federal Sentencing Table that factors in criminal history, age of victims involved in the child sexual abuse material, number of images and more.
Josh’s legal team begged the judge to be lenient with sentencing.
The court papers read: “The 34-year-old father of seven who stands before this Court for sentencing has lived an admirable life while navigating unique challenges associated with being in the public spotlight since childhood.
“Duggar pleaded not guilty and proceeded to trial. He now stands convicted of a serious offense and, as such, this Court must pronounce a sentence. However, in determining the appropriate sentence in this case, Duggar asks this Court to recognize him for the person he is and the person he can become.”
The document continued: “Prior to this case, Duggar had never been charged with, let alone convicted of, a single criminal offense throughout his entire life. In stark contrast, he worked exceptionally hard, has always been fully devoted to his family, and exemplified selfless acts outside of the public spotlight that speak to his true character.
“However, what speaks to Duggar’s true character is that his family remains firmly by his side and they yearn for the day when he can return home to them. His seven children and loving wife are struggling to make do without him but eagerly await the day when he will return to care for them, to love them, and to provide for them.”
Josh's legal team continued: "While the reality that Duggar is going to be sentenced to federal prison is undoubtedly frightening for Duggar himself, it has paralyzed his family with fear.
"Stated simply, any punishment imposed on Duggar is also a punishment imposed on his family."
Josh’s legal team also responded to the government noting a “pattern,” as a 2006 police report claimed Josh molested underage females in the family home, including sisters Jill, 30, and Jessa, 29, who came forward as victims.
Josh’s attorneys argued: “This cannot possibly be reasonably construed to constitute a 'pattern of activity' sufficient to warrant a significant increase of 5 offense levels.
"And to be clear, it is not only the length of time that transpired between the two alleged incidents; it is also the fact that Duggar was a child at the time of the first alleged incident."
Josh’s wife Anna and mom Michelle wrote letters begging for the judge to be lenient, as they described him as a “loving” and “patient” man.
The highly-publicized jury trial lasted two weeks before the jury submitted a guilty verdict on both counts.
At trial, prosecutors presented damning evidence from Josh's HP computer.
It was revealed that one file name found on his HP desktop computer was of a video of a "3-month-old being sexually abused.”
One folder contained 65 thumbnail files of an underage girl.
The jury was shown the images and videos prosecutors claim were found on his computer.
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Prosecutor William Clayman provided alleged texts and photos were taken on Josh’s phone at the car lot to show he was there at the same time child pornography content was downloaded at Wholesale Motorcars.
When the verdict was read, the Counting On alum was immediately handcuffed and taken into custody at Washington County Jail.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) at 800-656-HOPE (4673).
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