Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have broken their silence after eldest son, Josh, was found guilty of downloading and possessing child sex abuse images on Thursday.
The couple, who rose to fame on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” for their large family, released their statement after remaining silent during the trial.
“This entire ordeal has been very grievous,” the statement read. “Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us.”
Duggar, 33, was convicted on two charges: One charge of downloading the material, another charge for possessing it. Duggar’s sentence has not yet been announced. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.
The elder Duggars’ statement continued, “Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM (child sex abuse material).”
Jim Bob and Michelle vowed to help Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children in the future.
“In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support,” the statement said. “As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children. In each of life’s circumstances, we place our trust in God. He is our source of strength and refuge. Thank you for your prayers.”
In April 2021, Duggar was charged with federal charges of receiving and possessing child sex abuse images, including of children under the age of 12. At the time, Duggar pled not guilty. The trial began last week.
“We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations, we respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal,” Duggar’s legal team said in a statement to NBC News following the verdict.
On Wednesday, before the verdict was announced, Derick Dillard, husband of Jill Duggar Dillard, wrote on Twitter that he was “praying for justice” in the trial.
In recent years, Jill Duggar Dillard has been open about the distance she keeps from her family.
Amy Duggar King, a cousin of the family who was portrayed as a “bad girl” during the original TLC series, shared a statement on Twitter shortly after the verdict was announced.
“May the juror’s and Judge Brooks seek healing / counseling from all that was exposed to them,” wrote King, who has spoken to TODAY in the past about the charges against Duggar. “May the children grow up with real Godly men as father figures who will guide and protect them. May the people who were once in disbelief have their eyes opened for the first time.”
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