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Joy-Anna Duggar Breaks Her Silence on Brother Josh Duggar's Child Porn Charges

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Joy-Anna Duggar, the 23-year-old sister of former 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, has spoken out about the child pornography charges brought against her brother last month.

Joy-Anna and her husband Austin Forsyth, who she married in 2017, said in a joint statement to E! News, "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. 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, and it is our continued prayer that the truth comes to light."

Josh was arrested by federal agents in Arkansas on April 29. He is accused of downloading child pornography on three separate days in May 2019. He pled not guilty to the charges. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Gerald Faulkner claimed that the files in question, one of which involved children between 18 months to 12 years old being sexually abused, were "in the top five of the worst of the worst that I've ever had to examine."

The Complete Duggar Family Tree

Josh, who is married to Anna Duggar, is a father of six. Anna is currently pregnant with the couple's seventh child.

"We intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly," Josh's lawyer said in a statement to E! News shortly after his arrest. "In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom—and that is exactly what Josh intends to do."

Other members of Josh's family have also spoken out following the allegations.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josh's parents, said in a statement to E! News of the arrest, "We appreciate your continued prayers for our family at this time. 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, Josh's sister, wrote on Instagram, "We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While the 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."

Joy-Anna Duggar, Josh Duggar
Joy-Anna Duggar, Josh Duggar

Jill Duggar Dillard, Josh's sister, and her husband Derick Dillard, said in a statement to E! News on April 29, "We just found out this information yesterday. It is very sad."

In 2015, the TLC series about the large, deeply religious Duggar family was canceled after a 2006 redacted police report surfaced that stated Josh had been accused of molesting multiple children, while he was a teenager. Four of his sisters were later alleged to be victims. Jill and Jessa Duggar came forward to speak about how they chose to forgive their brother for his alleged actions in an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox's The Kelly File.

At the time, Josh said in a statement to People, "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. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."