'19 Kids and Counting' stars react to Joshua Duggar's guilty CSA material verdict
"We are thankful for our justice system in its punishment of such evils."
Content warning: This article contains harrowing details of alleged child sexual abuse.
Family members and fellow 19 Kids and Counting stars have been reacting to Joshua Duggar being found guilty on two counts of child sexual abuse material.
The reality star, who along with his siblings and parents featured on the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, was arrested for and pleaded not guilty to possession and receipt of child sexual abuse material back in April of this year.
He was found guilty on both charges last Thursday, December 9, facing up to 20 years imprisonment for each count and a fine of up to $250,000.
The 33-year-old was reportedly moved to solitary confinement for "safety reasons" while he awaits sentencing.
Several of his relatives and co-stars have since spoken out on the verdict.
Jill Dillard, Duggar's sister who previously identified herself as one of five young girls he allegedly molested during his teen years, released a statement alongside her husband Derick.
"Today was difficult for our family," a post on the couple's website from Thursday reads. "Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation.
"We are thankful for the hard work of law enforcement, including investigators, forensic analysts, prosecutors, and all others involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse.
"Nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor."
The couple added that Duggar's actions have not just devastated the victims and their families, but his own wife and seven children.
"Josh’s actions have rippled far beyond the epicentre of the offence itself. Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions," they continued.
"Our hearts are sensitive to the pains Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children have already endured and will continue to process in the future... We stand with them, we are praying for them, and we will seek to support them however we can during this dark time."
Jessa Seewald, another of Duggar's sisters and alleged victims, released a joint statement with her husband Ben through his social media pages.
"From the moment we learned of this case against Josh we have prayed that God would cause the truth to be made known, no matter what it was, and that the facts would be followed wherever they led," the statement reads.
"We are grieved beyond words over the children exploited and abused in child sexual abuse material, and we are thankful for our justice system in its punishment of such evils. Our hearts break for Josh's family and we ask your continued prayers for them in the unfathomable grief and pain they are enduring."
Jim Bob and Michelle, Duggar's parents and the couple at the centre of 19 Kids and Counting, also reacted to the verdict in a statement on their website.
"This entire ordeal has been very grievous," the pair wrote. "...Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [child sexual abuse material].
"In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support. As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children.
The couple added they would continue to place their trust "in God" and thanked fans for their prayers.
The Duggar family rose to fame as 19 Kids and Counting documented their life as a massive, ever-expanding and devoutly Christian family. TLC cancelled the show when the molestation allegations emerged in 2015.
In June of this year, the channel officially pulled the plug on its spin-off, Counting On, in response to the child sexual abuse material charges, though Joshua Duggar himself had not featured on the channel since 19's cancellation.
If you have been affected by any of the details of this article, you can contact Women's Aid's 24 hour helpline on 1800 341 900, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 77 8888, or Childline on 1800 66 66 66.