Why Judge Recommended Josh Duggar Should Serve Time in Seagoville Prison

Josh Duggar, former star of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Wednesday for possession of child pornography, with a judge recommending he serve his time in Seagoville federal prison in Texas.

According to the New York Post, Western District of Arkansas Judge Timothy Brooks recommended the prison in Seagoville because it has a "good" program for sex offenders. However, the judge also recommended another prison, in Texarkana, Arkansas, but the final decision will be determined by which facility has the proper bed space.

The announcement on Wednesday comes more than a year after Duggar was first arrested for receiving and possessing child pornography in April 2021.

Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar, the star of "19 Kids and Counting," was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Above, a handout photo provided by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office shows Duggar at his booking after his arrest April 29, 2021, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Handout/Getty

"According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Joshua James Duggar, 34, of Springdale, repeatedly downloaded and viewed images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including images of prepubescent children and depictions of sadistic abuse," the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Arkansas said in a press release following Duggar's sentencing.

The press release said that in 2019, Duggar used a "password-protected partition" on the hard drive of his computer to "avoid pornography-detecting software on the device."

"He then accessed the partition to download child sexual abuse material from the internet multiple times over the course of three days in May 2019. The password for the partition was the same one he used for other personal and family accounts," the press release said.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Duggar downloaded the illegal material while accessing the dark web and eventually removed the files from his computer.

During an undercover operation in 2019, law enforcement officials in Arkansas detected Duggar's activity with the online file-sharing program and eventually seized his vehicle and computer. Following the investigation, authorities discovered "significant evidence" connecting Duggar to the illegal downloads, such as pictures on his phone that were geolocated and timestamped text messages.

"On December 9th, 2021, a federal jury in the Western District of Arkansas convicted Duggar of receiving and possessing material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," the press release said.

According to People magazine, in December 2021, Duggar was found guilty of two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography; however, on Wednesday the court agreed to vacate the second count.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Duggar's lawyer Justin K. Gelfand said, "We're grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government's request for a 240-month sentence."

Gelfand continued, "We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal."