19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar, 27, molested five underage girls when he was a teenager, including his sisters, according to a police report. The family knew but didn’t go to police, who only investigated after Oprah’s staff went to authorities after being tipped off prior to the family’s appearance on the show.
In Touch Magazine uncovered and published the police report, reporting that Josh “was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies.”
Four of the five girls he fondled in their sleep and at other times, Wonkette reports citing language in the police report, were actually some of his sisters. Charges weren’t filed because the statute of limitations had expired.
The police report reveals that Josh was sent to a “Christian program” of “hard physical work and counseling” after Jim Bob “met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on” instead of going to the police or seeking help for the victims.
Jim Bob later told police that he had Josh talk to a friend–an Arkansas State Trooper who is now serving a 56-year prison sentence for child pornography–where Josh got a “very stern talk.”
Incredibly, it was an appearance on Oprah that led to a real police investigation: someone tipped off the show about the molestation, and the show contacted authorities. Gawker has a timeline of the events.
The lack of justice and support for the victims is appalling, and the family’s hypocrisy is almost unbelievable. Last fall, the Duggars actively opposed a nondiscrimination law protecting LGBT people, which Josh Duggar said was really about “protecting the well-being of women and children.” Michelle Duggar claimed transgender people were actually “males with past child predator convictions.”
Will TLC cancel 19 Kids and Counting?
Last fall, TLC cancelled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after a tabloid report linked June to a convicted child molester. As of Friday morning, TLC has responded to all of these revelations only by tweeting a link to Josh Duggar’s statement to People magazine, which said:
“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.”
Josh’s wife, Anna, said:
“[I know] who Josh really is – someone who had gone down a wrong path and had humbled himself before God and those whom he had offended. Someone who had received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right.”
Jim Bob and Michelle said in their own statement:
“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. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God’s kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything.”
Josh worked for the Family Research Council, the deceptively named conservative, Christian, anti-gay lobbying firm. It released this statement from its president, Tony Perkins:
“Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.
Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”