Josh Duggar Loses His Last Chance At A New Trial

Trigger warning: The following article includes discussion of sexual abuse towards children.

Josh Duggar has tried again for a re-hearing of his child pornography case, but his latest appeal has, again, been terminated, according to The U.S. Sun. It's the latest update in a series of scandals. Before Josh was known as a convicted criminal, he was on TLC's "19 Kids and Counting." The show was canceled in 2015 after the public found out Josh had sexually abused young girls, including some of his little sisters, when he was a teenager. He wasn't charged for those abuses, but scandal kept coming when a few months later it was discovered that Josh was on the dating website Ashley Madison, which promoted connections between married people.

It would be another several years before more of Josh's misdeeds came to light, and with them, the cancellation of another TLC show. The "19 Kids and Counting" spinoff "Counting On" featured the lives of some of the older Duggar siblings, and it was canceled after Josh was arrested for possession of child pornography in 2021. The case went to trial, and Josh was found guilty in December 2021. Josh was sentenced to prison for 12.5 years, and he has tried to appeal his conviction.  One appeal was shut down by a three-judge panel in August 2023. Josh's legal team tried again for a rehearing, but that has now also come to a dead end.

Josh Duggar is set for release in 2032

The most recent appeal that got terminated was filed in September 2023 in an attempt to get all the judges on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review Josh Duggar's case and allow a rehearing. The appeals from Josh's legal team have centered on federal agents reportedly taking his phone away while he was trying to contact his lawyer during a 2019 raid on the car dealership where he worked.

Josh is currently serving out his sentence at FCI Seagoville in Dallas, where he had to spend weeks in solitary confinement after having been caught with an illegal cell phone while in custody. His release date is set for October 2032; it had originally been August of the same year.  After his release from prison, he will not be allowed to be unsupervised with children under the age of 18, which will, at least for a while, include his seven children.

The Duggar family's reaction to Josh's arrest and charges has been varied. Before the sentencing, his wife and his mother both wrote to the court asking for leniency, while his cousin Amy Duggar hoped that he got the maximum sentence possible. And Jill Duggar also spoke out about Josh's verdict. She was one of his molestation victims, and Jill and her husband posted a response to the sentencing on their website, noting that, "until now, [Josh] has yet to be held accountable to the extent necessary to cause change in his dangerous pattern of behavior."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).