Joshua Duggar, the oldest of siblings featured in the reality show 19 Kids and Counting, pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of child pornography on Friday.
Duggar was arrested on Thursday and accused of using the internet to download material showing the sexual abuse of children, some under the age of 12, in May of 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"If convicted, the father of six faces up to 20 years in prison with fines up to $250,000 on each count," the Christian Post reports.
The charges came as a result of "Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice," the U.S. Attorney's Office says in a statement. "Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims."
Duggar's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, released a public statement Friday, saying, “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.”