It’s been almost six months since Josh Dugar was convicted of accepting and possessing child pornography.
Today, Josh has finally returned to the Arkansas Federal Courthouse where he was convicted, this time to be sentenced for that crime.
And the news that will surely infuriate many observers who believe he deserves to be imprisoned for the rest of his life, the disrespectful former reality star received a relatively light sentence of 12.5 years in prison.
The news comes to us through Ashley’s Reality Roundup, who was a journalist in the courtroom as soon as the verdict was announced.
The sentencing came after a dramatic day’s proceedings, in which Josh’s attorneys filed 22 objections, several of which centered on the claim that Josh “did not enjoy innocent guilt” during his trial.
Prosecutor Carly Marshall countered, “There is enough evidence to show that he actually distributed child pornography.
Dugar’s attorneys sought a five-year sentence, while prosecutors asked the judge to lock up Josh for 20 years, the maximum sentence allowed for his crime, according to federal guidelines.
In a letter to the judge on his behalf, Josh’s wife, Anna Dugar, and his mother, Michelle, pleaded for humility.
The letter made no mention of Josh’s crime and instead gave a bizarre argument as to why, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, Josh is basically a decent man.
Anna pleaded with the judge to reunite Josh with her children and seemed indifferent to the predatory behavior of minors during her lifetime.
Michelle wrote a letter in which she claimed that Josh’s ability to manage his family’s finances was a testament to his strong moral character.
Ironically, these appeals may have the opposite effect of intent.
In documents filed this week, the prosecution argued that letters from his loved ones prove that Josh is surrounded by activists, a fact that makes him much 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.
In their own filing, Josh’s lawyers wrote that their client had maintained his innocence and wanted to appeal the December verdict.
“Dugar acknowledges that he is in court for punishment and that this court must punish,” his attorney wrote.
“It simply came to our notice then. But Dugar also appealed to the court’s prudence to treat that justice with compassion. “
A reporter for The Ashley reported that the judge appeared to be annoyed by some more minor objections from Josh’s lawyers, claiming that the child sexual abuse instrument in question (CSAM) did not portray the works of sadism and masochism.
“The judge said the pictures (s) show that child rape is being portrayed,” the reporter said.
“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,” the judge told Josh’s lawyer at one point. “I don’t understand and I think that’s a nonsense argument.”
On Tuesday, Josh’s request for a new trial was rejected by Judge Timothy L. Brooks.
The judge wrote in his judgment that “significant evidence was presented at the trial to imply to a reasonable jury that Mr. Dugar was physically present at the time of the criminal conduct and that he had a male motive for committing these offenses.”
Josh’s lawyers say they want to file a second appeal.
Eventually, their request for a second trial will probably be granted, but the conviction in a case like Josh’s is virtually unheard of.
So while the punishment is much lighter than many expect, at least we can take some consolation that for the next 12 and a half years, Josh will no longer be able to claim any more victims.
Hopefully, those who have already ruined their lives by his actions will be able to breathe a little easier today.