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Jill Duggar and Jinger Duggar break silence after brother Josh's arrest

Josh, 33, has pleaded not guilty after his arrest on Thursday 29 April

jill jinger josh duggar
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
30 April 2021
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Jill Duggar and sister Jinger Duggar have broken their silence following the shocking arrest of older brother Josh Duggar.

Josh, 33, has pleaded not guilty after his arrest on Thursday 29 April.

On Friday it was confirmed through court documents that he had “knowingly received child pornography" and "knowingly possessed material that contained images of child pornography," including "images of minors under the age of 12," in May 2019.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Duggar family weddings

jinger and jeremy

Jeremy and Jinger condemned Josh's actions

"We are disturbed to hear the charges against Josh," Jinger and husband Jeremy Vuolo shared in a statement on social media.

"While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice."

"We just found out this information yesterday," Jill and husband Derick Dillard wrote in a statement. "It is very sad."

jill and derick

Jill and Derick called the situation "sad"

On the Duggar family website, parents Jim Bob and Michelle shared: “We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time.

"The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. 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."

josh duggar mughshot

Josh was arrested on 29 April

Josh, the eldest child of 19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle, was seen on a Zoom call on Friday from the Washington County detention center along with his lawyers.

After a 2019 raid on his Arkansas car dealership, the father-of-six willingly turned himself in on 29 April.

The judge shared that a jury trial will start on 6 July, and that "given the nature of the charges against him, he will need a third party custodian".

If he is granted bail, he will not be allowed to be around minors while he awaits trial.

"It would need to be a residence where there are no minors in the home. You would need to look for somebody who could ensure to the court that there are no minors in the home or would be visiting unsupervised," the judge added.

jinger and jeremy statement

Jinger and Jeremy's statement

Josh's wife Anna is pregnant with their seventh child; they are parents to  Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 17 months.

"He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly," Josh's attorneys, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne, said in a statement.

"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," his legal team said.

josh duggar family anna

Josh and wife Anna are expecting their seventh child

In November 2019, Homeland Security raided the 14000-block of Wildcat Creek Road as part of an “ongoing federal investigation".

The lot is now abandoned, and it was never revealed what the agents were searching for.

If convicted, Josh could receive 20 years in prison with fines up to $250,000 on each count.

anna duggar

Jim Bob and Michelle asked for prayers for their son

The charges come six years after it was alleged that between 2002 and 2003, when Josh was a teenager, he had molested young girls including some of his sisters.

Jill and Jessa came forward and claimed to be victims; no charges were ever filed.

MORE: Jill Duggar spends time with sister Jessa amid family estrangement

In 2015, Josh was reported to have been using adultery dating service Ashley Madison, after its records were hacked, and aduly actress Danica Dillon also alleged he had assaulted her during a sexual encounter.

anna and josh duggar

Josh and Anna have been married since 2008

"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," Josh said in a statement at the time. "While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."

He continued: “I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust."

The TLC show was canceled as a result, alhough the network later produced Counting On, a spin-off which focused on Jessa and Jill.

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