Currently Josh Duggar is being held in solitary confinement as he awaits an April 5 sentencing hearing.
Solitary is generally considered the worst punishment a prisoner can endure, but for Josh, it’s a protective measure.
As both a celebrity and a sex offender who preyed on children, the 34-year-old is likely to attract the wrong kind of attention from his fellow inmates.
The sentencing hearing will determine not only how long Josh will be locked up, but also where he’ll serve his time.
And according to one expert, the judge may want to consider Josh’s safety when making his decision.
“If you’re a sex offender and they put you in the population with the normal prisoners, you’ll be attacked in an hour,” Beverly Hills attorney Adam Michael Sacks tells UK tabloid The Sun.
“When you’re the new guy in jail, very quickly it’s ‘What is he in for?’ If it gets around he’s in for child pornography, he’s marked,” Sacks continued.
“They will hurt him. It’s not a joke.”
Sacks says that Josh will likely be sent to a facility where prison officials can segregate him from the general population without keeping him in solitary 24/7.
“For his own protection, there is a separate part of the jail and he would have more limitations,” Sacks says.
“He won’t be playing tennis or doing activities. It’s a different experience. It’s not as extreme as solitary confinement, but a lot of these jails don’t let you go out much.”
Sacks tells The Sun that sentencing guidelines mean that the judge in Josh’s case doesn’t have a lot of leeway.
And he does not think that Josh will be helped by his celebrity status or the fact that he has seven kids at home.
“The judge doesn’t have a lot of discretion because of the formula used for sentencing,” Sacks says.
“If the judge feels like he’s worth saving, he’ll go towards the lower end of the range. If Josh has a bad attitude in court or if he is influenced by victim statements, he’ll aim for the higher range,” he continues.
“The judge might say, ‘People looked up to you. You were on television. You should’ve been a better example for the people who watched you.”
Josh was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography, which are two separate charges.
While he could be sentenced to 20 years for each, federal law requires that the sentences be served concurrently, which means that sadly, Josh can’t be locked up for any longer than two decades.
The judge will consider several factors in determining Josh’s sentence.
He will likely consider statements from Josh’s victims, which may or may not be read in court.
Friends and family members of Josh’s will likely plead for a more lenient sentence, and again, they may have written letters to the judge, or they might address the court at the sentencing hearing.
Of course, Josh molested several members of his own family, but it seems unlikely that Jill Duggar or any of his other victims will speak in court.
Jill issued a statement after Josh’s conviction indicating that she felt as though justice had been served.
So it’s unlikely that she’ll join her parents in campaigning for a lighter sentence.
We doubt that she’ll antagonize her family by speaking out against Josh, but like the rest of us, Jill is probably hoping that he’ll be locked up for a very long time.