Jill Duggar, Derick Dillard Say ‘Today Was Difficult’ After Josh Duggar Found Guilty in Child Porn Case

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Jinger Duggar/Instagram Jill and Derick Dillard          

Jill (Duggar) Dillard and her husband Derick are speaking out after a guilty verdict was reached Thursday in the child sexual abuse material case against Jill’s brother Josh Duggar.

“Today was difficult for our family. Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation,” the statement, posted to the Dillard family website, read in part. 

“We are thankful for the hard work of law enforcement, including investigators, forensic analysts, prosecutors, and all others involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse,” it continued.

RELATED: Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Speak Out After Eldest Son Josh Is Found Guilty on Child Porn Charges

The joint statement went on to say that “nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor.”

The pair expressed the feeling that they “have been lied to so much that we wanted to hear the evidence for ourselves in court. After seeing all the evidence as it was presented, we believe that the jury reached a just verdict today, consistent with the truth beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“Josh’s actions have rippled far beyond the epicenter of the offense itself. Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions,” the Dillards continued in their statement. 

RELATED VIDEO: Josh Duggar Found Guilty on Child Pornography Charges, Facing Potential 20-Year Prison Sentence

“Our hearts are sensitive to the pains Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children have already endured and will continue to process in the future. This trial has felt more like a funeral than anything else. Josh’s family has a long road ahead. We stand with them, we are praying for them, and we will seek to support them however we can during this dark time,” the statement concluded.

Earlier on Thursday, Derick, 32, spoke to PEOPLE outside the courthouse in Arkansas shortly after his brother-in-law was found guilty on two charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material. 

“We just wanted to, among other things, see the facts for ourselves,” he said at the time. Jill, 30, appeared at Wednesday’s proceeding but was not present for the verdict on Thursday.

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Derick, a Counting On alum, also spoke out about Josh’s trial after the jury began deliberating this week, writing on Twitter Wednesday that he was “praying for justice this morning.”

Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, broke their silence Thursday after the guilty verdict.

“This entire ordeal has been very grievous. Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, have sustained us. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material],” the couple said in a statement posted to their family website.

“In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support,” Jim Bob and Michelle continued. “As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children. In each of life’s circumstances, we place our trust in God. He is our source of strength and refuge. Thank you for your prayers.”

Josh, 33, was arrested in April and pleaded not guilty to the charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material. 

RELATED: Jill Duggar and Husband Derick Dillard Break Silence on Counting On Cancellation

The 19 Kids and Counting star, who previously faced child molestation allegations related to his conduct as a teenager, was accused of downloading files depicting child sexual abuse in May of 2019 on the computer at his then-workplace, a used car lot in Arkansas. 

In May 2015, a 2006 police report surfaced and revealed that he had been investigated as a teen for inappropriately touching five underage girls. Two of his sisters subsequently stepped forward as two of the victims. Josh publicly apologized for his “wrongdoing.”

Along with Jill and Derick, several other of Josh’s family members appeared in court throughout the trial, including his father, wife Anna, and siblings Justin, Jessa and Joy-Anna. Joy-Anna’s husband Austin Forsyth has also attended.

Jill and Derick, who have been open in the past about distancing themselves from the Duggar family, previously issued a brief statement on the case when Josh was first arrested earlier this year. “It is very sad,” they told PEOPLE at the time. 

Following the guilty verdict, Josh faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines after his conviction on both counts.

His sentencing is expected in four months, but a date hasn’t been scheduled pending a pre-sentence investigation.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.



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