Jessa Duggar Seewald and her husband, Ben Seewald, responded to her older brother Josh Duggar's arrest in a joint statement they shared on their Instagram profiles Saturday. Josh, 33, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Thursday and charged with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He is being held at the Washington County, Arkansas jail without bail.
"We are saddened to hear of the charges against Josh," Seewald, 28, and Ben, 25, wrote. "As Christians, we stand against any form of pornography or abuse and we desire for the truth to be exposed, whatever that may be. Our prayers are with their family as they walk through this difficult time." The couple shared the statement as Instagram Story posts on their Instagram pages.
Duggar made his first court appearance during his arraignment on Friday, appearing virtually via Zoom. His next hearing is scheduled for May 5, when the judge will decide if he can be released on bail before the trial starts in July. If Josh is granted bail, U.S Chief Magistrate Judge Erin L. Wiedemann ordered that Josh not live in a residence with minors. Josh's attorneys entered a not guilty plea.
"Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment," his attorneys, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story, and Greg Payne, said Friday. "He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do."
In 2015, a 2006 police report including allegations that Duggar molested five underage girls when he was 14 and 15 surfaced, leading to TLC canceling 19 Kids and Counting. Four of Duggar's victims were his sisters, including Jessa and Jill Duggar Dillard, who gave an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly at the time the scandal broke. Later in 2015, Duggar admitted to cheating on his wife, Anna Duggar, after his name came up in the Ashley Madison data breach. Duggar apologized for cheating on Anna and having a pornography addiction. He went to faith-based rehab and remains married to Anna. The couple has six children, and Anna is pregnant with their seventh.
Dillard and her husband, Derick Dillard, have also spoken out on Josh's arrest. "We just found out this information yesterday," the two said. "It is very sad." While the Seewalds remain close with the Duggar family, the Dillards revealed last year that they are no longer close with Dillard's parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar.
"We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious," Jim Bob and Michelle said in their own statement. "It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light, and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family."