Josh Duggar’s Trial: An Impact Statement Was Submitted by a Victim Ahead of Josh Duggar’s Sentencing
Josh Duggar’s sentencing appears to be going forward after Judge Timothy L. Brooks granted the defense a postponement. Originally set for early April, the sentencing will now be held on May 25. Ahead of the delay, the prosecution submitted a standard investigation report. The report included a victim impact statement.
A victim submitted an impact statement ahead of Josh Duggar’s sentencing
According to KNWA, a local news station, one of Josh’s victims provided the prosecution with an impact statement ahead of sentencing. The statement was one of two addenda the prosecution submitted to the court on March 18.
The identity of the victim remains unknown. In theory, one of the Duggars Josh victimized when he was a teen could have submitted the statement. Josh’s fifth molestation victim could have also provided a statement. The identity of that victim remains unknown to the public. Members of the Duggar family’s social circle are reportedly aware of their identity. The fifth victim is not related to the Duggars, according to insiders.
It’s also possible that one of the victims that appeared in the child sexual abuse images that Josh downloaded could have provided an impact statement to the courts. The identity of those victims remains confidential, as well.
According to the United States Department of Justice, a victim impact statement is always filed under seal. They are not considered part of the public court records. Any identifying information included in the statement is redacted in court records. The defense, defendant, prosecution, and judge all have the opportunity to read victim impact letters, though.
Several Duggar family members sat through the trial
While Josh Duggar’s sentencing won’t take place for another month, family followers are already questioning which family members will be on hand at the sentencing. Several family members sat through the entirety of the trial and could possibly appear at the upcoming court date, too.
Josh’s wife, Anna Duggar, was at the courthouse daily, as were Derick Dillard and Austin Forsyth. Derick married Jill Dillard in 2014. Austin married Joy-Anna Forsyth in 2017. Josh molested both sisters when he was a teen. Jill and Joy-Anna appeared as well, although neither sat through the entirety of the trial. Jinger Vuolo did not travel from California for the trial. She was also one of Josh’s victims.
Jim Bob Duggar appeared at the courthouse during the trial. Josh’s siblings Jason Duggar, Justin Duggar, and Jana Duggar, all sat in on the proceedings at various points. Reporters did not spy Michelle Duggar, Josh’s mother, at the trial. Michelle remained out of public sight in the months leading up to the trial and several weeks after the conviction. She has just recently resurfaced at a handful of social events.
How long will Josh Duggar spend in prison?
Josh might have been found guilty on both charges in December 2021, but it has taken several months for the judge to review the case. On May 25, he’ll decide just how long Josh will spend behind bars. While the judge has the final say, he will use minimum sentences, maximum sentences, and guidelines to ensure a fair sentencing.
When federal marshals arrested Josh in April 2021, they charged him two different crimes. The jury found him guilty on both, but he won’t serve consecutive sentences. According to legal expert and YouTuber Emily D. Baker, only the more serious charge will factor into his sentencing. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Several legal experts note that a 20-year prison stint is unlikely as Josh is a first-time offender. According to Richard Hornsby, federal guidelines suggest prison terms for first-time offenders between 33 and 41 months. The guideline is a suggestion before aggravating factors are considered. Factors, including the nature of the images, the age of the victims, and the number of images possessed by the defendant, can all affect the length of a sentence. Several legal experts have suggested that Josh could face between eight and 12 years behind bars.
Once Josh is sentenced, federal agents will move him to a federal facility. He has been held at a local detention center since his conviction. Josh will likely serve his prison term at a detention center outside of the state of Arkansas.
How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually abused, text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free and confidential support.