Jim Bob Duggar reportedly reached out to his other 18 children ahead of Josh Duggar’s arrest on child pornography charges to warn them an arrest was “imminent.” He also asked them to pray for Josh and his wife Anna.
The Sun is reporting the 55-year-old father reached out to all of his children and their spouses hours ahead of the Thursday arrest. According to a source close to the family, the message asked for their support and silence.
“He asked them all to pray for Josh and Anna, and trust that God would bring them closer together through the tough time,” the source said. “He also asked them to not speak publicly about the arrest or any issues with Josh.”
Justin Gelfand, the 33-year-old’s attorney, entered the not guilty plea on his behalf on Friday, US Weekly reported. Duggar is at the Washington County jail in Arkansas on Thursday without bail. However, he may request bail from a federal judge on May 5.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count.
Federal authorities arrested Duggar on Thursday. TMZ reported Friday that officials charged him with possessing child pornography, including images of minors below the age of 12. Homeland Security officials raided his office in 2019 at his car lot as part of an investigation, TMZ said.
Several Duggar Children Have Spoken About Arrest
Despite their father asking them to not speak to the media about Josh Duggar’s arrest, several have issued statements. Subsequently, his younger sister Jinger Vuolo said she supported the authorities in their “pursuit of justice” in the case.
“We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice,” the couple wrote in a statement shared to Instagram.
Josh Duggar’s younger sister Jessa Duggar and her husband also issued a joint statement condemning the alleged behavior.
“We are saddened to hear of the charges against Josh,” Jessa and Ben wrote. “As Christians, we stand against any form of pornography or abuse. And we desire for the truth to be exposed, whatever that may be. Our prayers are with their family as they walk through this difficult time.”
Some of the other children from the Duggar family have made comments but only to ask for prayers. The family appeared on the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting until 2015.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar asked fans for their support.
“We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time,” they said in a statement to Us Weekly via their family rep on Friday, April 30. “The accusations brought against Joshua today are very serious. It is our prayer that the truth, no matter what it is, will come to light and that this will all be resolved in a timely manner. We love Josh and Anna and continue to pray for their family.”
Josh Duggar and his wife Anna have six children and recently announced they are pregnant with their seventh — a daughter.