Josh Duggar Sentencing Hearing in Child Pornography Case Delayed
Josh Duggar's sentencing hearing has been pushed back more than a month as the former 19 Kids and Counting star, 34, awaits his fate in his child pornography case. Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court granted Duggar's request to delay his sentencing hearing originally scheduled for April 5, PEOPLE reports, with the new date set for May 25.
Duggar's legal team previously requested a 30-day delay in court documents filed on March 18. "The defense would benefit from a brief continuance to provide additional time to pursue additional information and documentation," the filing states. "Additionally, because of certain reasonable COVID-19 precautions understandably instituted at the jail at which Duggar is being detained, it has been more difficult scheduling meetings with Duggar than during more ordinary times."
Duggar's team continued, "Finally, while defense counsel can and would be available for the current sentencing date, certain scheduling issues arising out of unrelated cases would be more easily resolved if this Court were to grant the requested continuance." Duggar was first arrested in April 2021 on suspicion of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse materials, and in December he was found guilty on two charges for knowingly obtaining and owning those materials. The former TLC star faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines at his sentencing.
Duggar previously was subject to scandal in 2015, when a 2006 police report resurfaced showing that he had admitted to molesting four younger girls when he was a teenager. 19 Kids and Counting was canceled in the wake of the revelation, and Duggar's family would go on to film Counting On, which was canceled following his April arrest.
Following a guilty verdict being handed down, many of the reality personality's family members reacted publicly, including his sister Jill (Duggar) Dillard and her husband Derick Dillard. "Today was difficult for our family. Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation," the two shared in a statement at the time, adding, "Nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor. Today, the people of the Western District of Arkansas made that clear in their verdict."