Former reality TV star Josh Duggar has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after being found guilty of child pornography.
A judge on Wednesday sentenced Duggar, who starred on the TLC series 19 children and counting, to 12.5 years in prison. His lawyers have requested a five-year sentence, while prosecutors have asked for 20 years, the maximum, according to The Associated Press.
Duggar was convicted last year of receiving and possessing child pornography charges. Prosecutors said he used the internet to upload child sexual abuse material, “some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12”. In 2015, TLC canceled 19 children and counting following allegations that Duggar molested his sisters as teenagers.
Duggar requested a new trial, but the judge ruled that there was “no merit to Mr. Duggar’s argument for acquittal”. BuzzFeed News reports. A charge against him was dropped, however, as the judge ruled he did not knowingly distribute pornography, according to People. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts said Duggar “had a deep, pervasive, and violent sexual interest in children.”
Travis Story, Duggar’s attorney, said TMZ “We are grateful to the judge for dismissing” the charge against him and “rejecting the government’s request for a 240-month sentence”, adding: “We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal”.