The former "19 Kids and Counting" star plead not guilty to charges related to the possession of material which "depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12." He was later released from jail.
update at 7:35 am PT on May 10, 2021
Joy-Anna Duggar, Josh's younger sister, and her husband Austin Forsyth finally broke their silence with a statement shared to their Instagram Story on Saturday, May 8.
"The recent accusations brought against Josh sadden us to our core,. We have not wanted to be hasty in making any statements while trying to process the news ourselves," they wrote. "We are especially heartbroken by the reality that there are children in the world being harmed and exploited."
"We ask for prayer for all those involved," the statement concluded, "and it is our continued prayer that the truth comes to light."
update at 8:30am PT on May 2, 2021
Josh Duggar's sister and brother-in-law, Jessa and Ben Seewald, shared a joint statement on Instagram over the weekend.
"We are saddened to hear of the charges against Josh," they 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."
They added, "Our prayers are with their family as they walk through this difficult time."
original story below
The Duggar family has spoken out about Josh Duggar being arrested on child pornography charges.
On Thursday, the former "19 Kids and Counting" star was taken into custody for allegedly downloading child sexual abuse images online and possessing material depicting sexual abuse of minors under the age of 12, according to prosecutors.
The arrest came just days after Josh's wife Anna announced they were expecting their seventh child together.
"We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time," Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar said in a statement on their family website. "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."
Jinger Duggar Vuolo, one of Josh's younger sisters, took to Instagram to write, "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."
Josh's cousin, Amy King, told The Sun that the family was devastated by the news.
"I spoke with several of my cousins after we heard about the arrest. We're in shock, but we don't want to think the worst of someone, you want to think the best. Just thinking about it makes me want to have a glass of wine right now."
"It breaks my heart," she added. "Family is family and I wish the best for everyone."
Josh plead not guilty over a Zoom hearing in the Western District of Arkansas on Friday, after his attorneys requested the charges not be read aloud by the judge.
He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count if convicted.
A detention hearing has been set for May 5 to see if he can be released on bond. If so, the judge said he cannot be in the presence of minors. A trial date was also set for July 6, with a pre-trial hearing scheduled for July 1.
"We just found out this information yesterday," Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derick Dillard said in a statement to People before they knew of the charges brought against Josh. "It is very sad."
Back in 2015, TLC cancelled "19 Kids and Counting" after reports of Josh molesting five underage girls -- including four of his sisters -- came to light, according to media reports.
His younger sisters, Jill and Jessa, came forward at the time to reveal they were two of the victims in an interview with Megyn Kelly.
Josh, who was 27, said in a statement, "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends."
He subsequently resigned as executive director of the the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council in Washington.
Three months later, Josh admitted to cheating on his wife through the use of the Ashley Madison website.
"I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," he said in a statement at the time. "While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this has become a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."