“Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.”
Thus begins a story on the In Touch magazine website.
The story continues, “What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by In Touch magazine.
“The report has been hidden since 2006 and was just obtained by the mag through a Freedom of information Act request. Jim Bob also refused to allow police to interview Josh when they opened a felony investigation in 2006. The Duggars star on TLC’s hit show ‘19 Kids and Counting.’”
In response to the magazine report, Josh, 27, his wife Anna and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, all posted separate statements on Facebook.
Josh’s statement says, in part, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. 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 sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life….”
Anna’s statement says, in part, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married – it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes….” Anna is currently pregnant with her and Josh’s fourth child.
The statement of Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, reads, in part, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God….”
To read all three of the statements in full, please click here. None of the statements mention the words “molested,” “molestation” or “abuse” or give any indication about what Josh specifically did.
According to TMZ, Josh “was the subject of a police investigation for allegedly sexually molesting 5 girls, some of whom are his sisters.” This abuse allegedly began in 2002, TMZ notes. Josh would have been 14 or 15 years old.
The TMZ story continues, “According to the police report, Josh fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him … in one case reading a book.
“There was another reported incident 9 months later. According to the police report, the police were not immediately contacted. Instead, Jim Bob, the dad, met with church elders and agreed Josh should be put in a treatment program. The police report says Josh’s mom, Michelle, said it wasn’t really a treatment center … they simply sent Josh to a guy who was remodeling a building to do manual labor.”
Says a report on this story in USA Today, “In Touch [also] reported that [Jim Bob] took Josh to an Arkansas state trooper who was a personal friend, who took no action other than [giving Josh] a ‘very stern talk.’ That officer is now serving a 56-year term in prison for child pornography, the magazine reported, and no case was ever brought against Josh Duggar.”
“Josh Duggar was never charged with a crime,” the USA Today story notes, “and the statute of limitations has now expired.”
In light of the revelations in In Touch magazine, Josh Duggar has resigned his position as the executive director of the Family Research Council, reports the Washington Post.
The Post adds, “Duggar, his wife Anna and their three children live in Washington, where Duggar worked as executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.
“The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization led by Tony Perkins, is known for its advocacy against same-sex marriage, ‘with the mission to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.’
“Perkins said in a statement Thursday [May 21, 2015] that Duggar resigned from his post ‘as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.’ [Perkins added that] ‘Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work.’”
One lingering question is about the reaction to all of this by Discovery Communications’ TLC, the network that airs “19 Kids and Counting.” According to the Washington Post, TLC “declined to comment on the allegations against Josh, his apology, or the network’s future plans for the series, a spokesperson said in an email to the Washington Post on Thursday evening.”
Other media outlets also reported that TLC has remained silent thus far.
Clearly, “19 Kids and Counting” is an important show for the network. In a press release issued on Jan. 6, 2015, TLC said, “TLC wrapped up 2014 as a top 10 primetime cable network with all key women demos for yet another year. Fueled by hit series including ‘19 Kids and Counting;’ ‘The Little Couple;’ and ‘Little People, Big World,’ TLC secured the #1 Female Cable Network spot with W25-54/18-49 on Tuesday nights in 2014.”
The release added, “‘19 Kids and Counting’ also garnered TLC’s most watched telecast in four years, with 4.4M P2+ viewers tuning into the October wedding special [of Duggar daughter Jill].”
Of ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ Deadline’s Lisa de Moraes on Thursday wrote that the “most recent batch of episodes, Season 9A, debuted in February and ended this past Tuesday. TLC has not yet announced whether it is picking up the reality series for another season.”
De Moraes continued, “Also in October, TLC pulled the plug on its reality series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ after reports that the tot’s mother again was seeing a former boyfriend convicted of child molestation. Another of Mama June’s daughters, 20-year-old Anna Cardwell (aka Chickadee), came forward saying she had been a victim of Mark McDaniel at age 8 (McDaniel got out of prison in March). TLC, which cut ties to the show after confirming details of June’s renewed relationship with McDaniel, offered counseling to Anna, issuing a statement saying, ‘Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority.’”