Authorities described Duggar, 34, as a “very savvy computer user” who tried to cover his tracks as he downloaded “sadistic and masochistic abuse” material in 2019.
Among the more than 600 images and videos that prosecutors said he downloaded was footage of prepubescent girls being raped, whipped, threatened with knives, and held naked in a dog cage.
Another video showed the rape and torture of a toddler — footage so terrible that a Homeland Security Investigations agent said it was among the most horrific things he had been forced to watch in his career.
“Distressingly, the market for child pornography has continued to grow, and to become more depraved, in recent years,” Roberts wrote. “That depravity is evident here.”
As evidence of the threat he posed, prosecutors also pointed to Duggar’s past molestation of five young girls, including his four younger sisters, around 2002 when he was a teenager. Some of the abuse happened when the girls were sleeping.
“His past behavior provides an alarming window into the extent of his sexual interest in children,” Roberts said.
In his own memo, Duggar’s defense attorney, Justin K. Gelfand, asked the judge to “temper…justice with mercy” and sentence him to five years in prison.
“If ever there were a defendant standing before this Court who is as committed to never finding himself anywhere close to this situation again, it is Duggar,” Gelfand wrote. “As he moves forward into the next chapter of his life, Duggar continues to have so much good to offer the world.”
His attorney argued Duggar has had to navigate “unique challenges associated with being in the public spotlight since childhood” and was devoted to his faith, wife, and seven children.