Folks, it’s time to let out a giant sigh of relief.
More than two years after federal agents raided a car dealership owned by Josh Duggar, the case against the disgraced former reality star has finally come to a satisfactory conclusion.
Earlier today, Josh was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography.
He faces 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
Many outlets have reported that Josh faces 20 years for each of the two counts against him, but according ro a statement from Washington County Prosecutor Clay Fowlkes, he cannot be formally convicted of both crimes “by function of law.”
So while Josh was convicted on both counts, he will only be charged with receiving child porn, as possession is the lesser of the two crimes.
But the fact remains that Josh will be headed to prison for a very long time.
Once he’s released, he’ll be forced to register as a sex offender, a precaution that will hopefully prevent him from claiming more victims.
“In the federal system, if he is convicted and sentenced to the Bureau of Prisons, or BOP, he would serve about 86% of any sentence he would receive, before he was eligible for release,” Arkansas defense attorney Bobby Digby recently told Hollywood Life.
“In the federal system they don’t call it parole, they call it supervised release, but it’s essentially parole,” Digby added.
“So there’d be sex offender registration, all kinds of stuff like that.”
There was some uncertainty as to whether or not Josh would be released pending his sentencing in April.
Those questions were answered when bailiffs slapped the cuffs on Duggar and transported him to the local county jail shortly after he was convicted today.
According to a report from The Sun, Josh “looked over at his family” as he was cuffed, and the father of seven appeared to have “tears in his eyes.”
“Mr. Duggar 100 percent has been compliant awaiting trial,” Judge Timothy L. Brooks said after the jury announced its verdict.
“I appreciate that, and I wanted to acknowledge that; however, because of the guilty offenses, he must be detained regardless of flight risk, so there will be a mandatory detention. The marshalls will set that up.”
But while Josh might have been overcome with sadness as he said a silent goodbye to his wife, father, and siblings, it seems his mood turned around shortly after he left the courtroom.
The 33-year-old posed for yet another mug shot today, and to the surprise of many, he was once again smiling.
Yes, Josh’s first mug shot — which was taken after his arrest in April of this year — showed him sporting a superior smirk.
And as you can see, Josh once again seems unperturbed by his surroundings.
On Twitter, the second mug shot was a target of much scorn and derision.
“POS Josh Duggar is also guilty of smiling for his arrest mug shot. It takes a really special person to do that and, IMHO, is an indicator of a psychopath with a side dish of narcissism,” one person tweeted.
“Josh Duggar’s mug shot has pedophile written all over it,” another observed.
“Josh Duggar isn’t a well man. He’s broken for sure. Why his wife keeps getting pregnant is the question. He’s not going to get cured. Ever,” a third chimed in.
As for what awaits Josh, it seems that Judge Brooks will hand down a sentence at an April hearing after hearing from both prosecutors and defense attorneys.
“In the federal system, if he is convicted either by plea agreement or by trial, the judge sets the punishment,” Digby said.
“You have a separate sentencing hearing after any plea or trial. So at the sentencing hearing either side can bring forth evidence relevant to the sentencing,” the attorney continued.
“Uncharged allegations can be brought forth to show that look, his criminal history may not be high, but he’s a bad guy.”
The Duggars have been mostly silent in the hours since Josh was convicted.
The only exception has been Derick Dillard — husband of Jill Duggar — who was present for every day of the trial, and who issued a statement to People magazine after the verdict was read.
“We just wanted to, among other things, see the facts for ourselves,” Derick said, by way of explaining his presence in the courtroom.
“America is the best country to get justice,” he poignantly added.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.