FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Joshua Duggar was sentenced to over 12 1/2 years in federal prison following his December 2021 conviction on child pornography charges on May 25.
In addition to handing down a prison term of 151 months, Judge Timothy L. Brooks of the Western District of Arkansas Federal Court in Fayetteville also stipulated that Duggar will have 20 years of supervised release. He added some “special conditions” to the terms, noting that some of them were not “typical.”
Duggar “shall have no unsupervised contact with minors.” The judge specifically stated that the 34-year-old must “proceed with caution” regarding any event that might include minors. In addition, he needs to receive prior approval from the U.S. Probation Office before “attending any such place, function, or event.”
Duggar must submit his person, residence, place of employment, vehicles, papers, computers and any other electronic devices or storage media for search “at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner” anytime there is suspicion that he may have violated any condition of his supervised release.
“The defendant shall not possess, use, or have access to a computer or any other electronic device that has Internet or photograph storage capabilities without prior advance notice and approval of the U.S. Probation Office,” the sentencing document says. Duggar must also pay for internet-monitoring software to be installed on any approved devices. Judge Brooks voiced specific concerns about Duggar potentially having such devices if he returns to work in a self-employed capacity. In addition, the defendant must submit to random searches of any devices.
Duggar may not “purchase, possess, use, distribute, or administer marijuana.” Additionally, he may not possess a medical marijuana card or prescription. A ban on other controlled substances was addressed earlier in sentencing, as were stipulations that Duggar is never to own or possess a firearm and that he must submit to random DNA collection.
He must participate in a sex offense-specific treatment program and pay for it himself “if financially able.”
He will also “be required to submit to periodic polygraph testing at the discretion of the probation offices as a means to ensure that he is in compliance with the requirements of his supervision or treatment program.”
Defense attorney Justin Gelfand objected to this condition, citing the “lack of reliability coupled with potential ramifications” regarding polygraph testing. He added that such tests are usually inadmissible as evidence in court.
Judge Brooks countered by calling them “just kind of routine” in many districts and noted that they would be used as a part of future treatment, not as “a tool to trip people up.”
The defense also objected to an earlier stipulation that the judge conceded was “not a typical condition,” but one he felt was “appropriate to impose in this case.” As a result, Duggar was forbidden from ever viewing pornography of any kind again.
“He will go to great lengths to defeat” monitoring or accountability software, the judge added. Gelfand objected based on the defendant’s First Amendment rights. He felt that “robust supervision conditions” were sufficient, and added that viewing adult pornography is a “completely legal activity.”
Prosecuting attorney Dustin Roberts voiced the government’s support of the court’s conditions regarding pornography and polygraph testing and had no objections to any of the terms.
Duggar must also pay fines totaling $50,100, including a trio of specific special assessments. The fines are due immediately, but the court outlined procedures for payment plans if the defendant is unable to pay at this time, including some of the balance to be paid during his incarceration and a certain percentage of his future income dedicated to payment if necessary.
The judge concluded the proceedings in this case by addressing “one more matter” before the court: the government’s request that Duggar forfeits the HP desktop computer he used to download the illegal child sexual assault material.
“Nobody wants the computer back, so to speak,” said Gelfand. “Just preserved.” He added that the defense wanted to “make darn sure” that the device remained safely in evidence for a possible appeal.
With that, Duggar was taken back into custody by U.S. Marshals and will await transfer to a federal prison.