"We are saddened to hear of the charges against Josh," read a statement posted to Jessa and her husband Ben Seewald's Instagram Stories. "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."
Jessa, 28, is the fifth oldest Duggar sibling, all of whom starred on the family's former TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting (which aired from 2008 to 2015) about their conservative Baptist upbringing. The show was scrapped when Josh, now 33, admitted to sexually assaulting underage girls, including four of his sisters, with Jessa and Jill Dillard, 29, identifying themselves as victims.
Related: Josh Duggar charged: possession of child pornography
On Thursday, Josh, the son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, was arrested by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Arkansas, where he lives with his wife Anna Duggar and their six children. According to the state's U.S. Attorney's Office, in May 2019, Josh downloaded online material that showed the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12. Josh was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, to which he pled not guilty.
Jessa's declaration follows one from her sister Jinger Vuolo, 27, who on Friday posted a joint statement with husband Jeremy Vuolo. "We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh," it read. "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."
Jim Bob and Michelle also posted the following statement to their website: “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.”
While Josh's sister Jill Dillard, 29, and her husband Derick Dillard, told E! News, "We just found out this information yesterday. It is very sad." Meanwhile, a spokesperson for TLC told People, "TLC is saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving Josh Duggar. 19 Kids and Counting has not aired since 2015. TLC cancelled the show on the heels of prior allegations against Josh Duggar and he has not appeared on-air since then."
In 2015, Josh addressed the sexual abuse of his sisters and his other victims, in a statement to People. "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," he said. "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."
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," he said. "I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption." That year, Jessa and Jill said they had forgiven Josh and no charges were filed against their brother.
In 2015, Josh also confessed to cheating on Anna via the infidelity website Ashley Madison. "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever," Josh wrote on the family website. "While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife. I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him …"
If Josh is convicted on child pornography charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
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