Josh Duggar guilty verdict prompts reaction from sister Jessa, brother-in-law Ben Seewald

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The Seewalds have broken their silence on Josh Duggar’s child pornography conviction.

On Friday, Josh’s brother-in-law Ben Seewald released a statement on his social media accounts that appears to be on behalf of himself and his wife Jessa, who is Josh’s younger sister.

“From the moment we learned of this case against Josh we have prayed that God would cause the truth to be made known, no matter what it was, and that the facts would be followed wherever they lead,” the statement begins on Twitter.

“We are grieved beyond words over the children exploited and abused in child sexual abuse material, and we are thankful for our justice system in its punishment of such evils. Our hearts break for Josh’s family and we ask your continued prayers for them in the unfathomable grief and pain they are enduring,” it concludes.

Jessa and Ben Seewald have been married since 2014. They are parents to four children: sons Spurgeon and Henry and daughters Ivy and Fern. Jessa has yet to share the statement on her own social media accounts and has remained mum on her brother’s charges since he was arrested by U.S. marshals in April. According to reports, Jessa was spotted at the Arkansas courthouse for her brother’s nearly two-week trial at least once.

Duggar, 33, was convicted on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography Thursday. The former reality TV star faces up to 20 years and up to $250,000 fines for each count.

The Seewalds’ statement comes after Josh’s parents, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, and a few other siblings released statements of their own.

“This entire ordeal has been very grievous,” Michelle and Jim Bob said on their website. “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].”

“In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law [Josh’s wife] Anna and their children with love and support,” the duo 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.” 

(L-R) Jessa Duggar, Jinger Duggar, Jill Duggar, and Jana Duggar in 2014.
( D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)

Josh’s cousin Amy King tweeted that “justice has been served” following the verdict announcement.

“May the juror’s and Judge Brooks seek healing / counseling from all that was exposed to them,” her statement on Twitter began. “May the children grow up with real Godly men as father figures who will guide and protect them. May the people who were once in disbelief have their eyes opened for the first time.”

“May the daughters who were abused feel validated,” she continued. “You are truly beautiful and worthy of love. May there be intense counseling / healing. May there be wisdom for all those involved on how to move forward. Thank you Jesus. Justice has been served.”

Amy King’s mom, Deanna Duggar, also reacted. “JUSTICE WAS SERVED!!! Praying for all involved in the case!!!” she wrote on her Instagram Story along with several praying hand emojis. 

Josh’s brother-in-law Derick Dillard spoke to People magazine on his way out of the courtroom.

“We just wanted to, among other things, see the facts for ourselves,” Dillard, whose wife Jill Duggar Dillard did not attend the trial, said before adding, “America is the best country to get justice.”

Derick and Jill later shared a lengthy statement on their family website. 

The Duggar family rose to fame after appearing on TLC’s "19 Kids and Counting." The show was pulled from the network in 2015 after allegations Josh had sexually abused four of his sisters and a babysitter became public knowledge.
( D Dipasupil)

“Today was difficult for our family,” the statement began. “Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation. 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.”

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

Josh’s wife Anna Duggar was seen leaving the courtroom emotionless. Anna wore a black peacoat over a matching black dress.

Following the verdict, Josh’s defense attorney said the team respects the jury’s verdict but does plan to appeal.

“We appreciate the jury’s lengthy deliberations, we respect the jury’s verdict, and we intend to appeal,” defense attorneys Justin Gelfand, Ian Murphy and Travis Story said.

The Duggar family rose to fame after appearing on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” The show was pulled from the network in 2015 after allegations Josh had sexually abused four of his sisters and a babysitter became public knowledge.

Josh’s sentencing date has not yet been set.

Fox News’ Lauryn Overhultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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