As we reported earlier today, Josh Dugar has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in federal prison.
Judge Timothy L. Brooks was sentenced at the federal courthouse in Arkansas at the end of a dramatic hearing that lasted much longer than expected.
There were lengthy proceedings due to 22 objections filed by Josh’s lawyers in response to the prosecution’s pre-sentencing report.
No cameras or recording devices were allowed in the courtroom, but reporters at the hearing said the judge was angry at the trivial nature of some of the objections.
At one point, Josh’s attorneys argued that there was no truth in the prosecution’s claim that Josh knowingly distributed child sexual abuse materials (CSAM).
“When it comes to distribution, the simple fact that using a peer-to-peer file sharing does not meet the definition of distribution alone,” Josh’s attorney, Justin Gelfand, told the court.
“There is no evidence of intentional or intentional distribution or alleged child pornography.”
“There is a lot of information in this case that there is no evidence of ignorance about the distribution,” prosecutor Carly Marshall countered, noting that Josh was an “intelligent computer user.”
“There is ample evidence to show that he actually distributed child pornography,” he added.
The judge reportedly became angry with Josh’s legal team when they argued that the CSAM in question did not portray the tragic acts as claimed in the pre-sentence report.
A reporter from The Ashley’s Reality Roundup reported, “The judge said the pictures (s) depicted child rape.”
“Judge Josh’s attorney seemed upset to object to child rape being described as sadism and masochism.”
“You said it three times and I don’t understand,” Judge Brooks told Josh’s lawyer.
“I don’t understand and I think that’s a nonsense argument.”
In addition to the tensions between the two sides, there was a lot of media attention in the court gallery, where only a few members of the Duggar family came out to show their support for Josh.
According to The Ashley, Anna Dugar was the first to arrive.
Soon after, Josh’s father, Jim Bob Dugar, followed him, who came alone.
Josh’s mother, Michelle, moved out of the courthouse, just as she had during the entire trial.
Josh’s sister Joy-Anna Dugar was present at the hearing along with her husband Austin Forsyth.
According to The Ashley reporter, Joy-Anna left the courtroom when the prosecution began discussing Josh’s sexual misconduct with her sisters, and she was apparently upset when she returned.
Joy-Anna was one of four Duggar sisters who fell victim to Josh.
He was only 5 years old at the time of the attack.
The reporter said Anna Dugar showed “absolutely no emotion” during the hearing, even when Judge Josh made a statement about the impact of the victim on one of the young women attending the CSAM.
Anna and Michelle wrote to the judge on behalf of Josh and requested a humble sentence in the interests of his family.
“Several letters were written in your favor,” Judge Josh said, adding that the letters were “very helpful.”
In the end, however, it appears that the judge was not sufficiently moved by the letters to comply with the prosecution’s request for a sentence of only five years.
Ironically, the intentional effect of these characters can be reversed.
In documents filed this week, the prosecution argued that the letters serve as further evidence that Josh is surrounded by activists, a fact that makes him less likely to change his ways after his release.
“This past behavior, when viewed in the light of his conviction, shows that Dugar has a deep-seated, widespread, and violent sexual interest in children and a desire to act on that interest,” the filing said.
“There is no indication that Dugar will take the necessary steps to change this pattern of behavior and address his propensity for underage women,” prosecutors wrote.
Not surprisingly, the Dugars have been largely silent on social media since the verdict was announced.
The only member of the family who dealt directly with the situation was Amy Dugar.
Amy celebrated when Josh was convicted in December, and seems to be equally satisfied with today’s verdict.
Josh’s cousin tweeted, “This is the day when the smoky thick smile slowly fades away when he is locked up.”
We’re sure that, like many others, Amio wants Josh to be held for a longer period of time.
But at least he can take comfort in the fact that he will not be able to claim any more victims for a very long time.
We will have more updates on this story as new information becomes available.