Josh Duggar Responds to Child Molestation Allegations

Taryn Ryder
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Josh Duggar (Getty Images)
Josh Duggar (Getty Images)

A stunning and very alarming report has emerged involving the Duggar family.

According to a recently uncovered police report, Josh Duggar, one of the many stars of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, allegedly molested five girls some of whom, were reportedly his sisters starting in 2002. He was around 14 at the time.

Josh, 27, issued a statement to People in response to the allegations: "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."

He continued, "I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."

Josh has resigned as Executive Director of the Family Research Council.

The Springdale, Arkansas, report has been hidden since 2006 and was obtained by In Touch Weekly through a Freedom of information Act request. Although Josh's name has been redacted, the outlet alleges that they have confirmed it is the reality star. TMZ has also confirmed the veracity of the report.

Per the report, Josh was accused of "fondling… [the] breasts and vaginas" of his victims, mostly while the girls were sleeping, but sometimes when awake. Apparently Josh's father, Jim Bob, was made aware of the incidents in March 2002, but he did not alert the police. In July 2002, Josh admitted to fondling a minor's breasts again, but Jim Bob still did not contact authorities.

"James [aka Jim Bob] said that they disciplined [redacted, Josh] after this incident," according to the report. In March 2003, Jim Bob was made aware of yet another incident. Instead of going to the authorities, he consulted his church.

Jim Bob "met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on. James said that they all agreed that [redacted, Josh] needed to be put into a treatment program." James said that Josh went into a "Christian program" from March 2003 - July 2003. The Duggars claimed Josh apologized to his victims and that they had forgiven him and that "several members of their church were aware of the situation and had been supportive of the family."

Jim Bob and Josh Duggar make the press rounds together in 2014 (Getty Images)
Jim Bob and Josh Duggar make the press rounds together in 2014 (Getty Images)

Michelle Duggar supposedly later admitted to police that Josh had not received counseling, but was sent to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business.

When Josh returned, the Duggars still did not contact authorities. Instead, they took him to Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens's home. He was a Duggar family friend. According to the report, Hutchens did not take any official action and instead gave Josh a "very stern talk." In Touch reports that Hutchens is now serving 56 years in prison for child pornography.

So what triggered this investigation in 2006 if the Duggars never came forward? Oprah, actually.

When the family was scheduled to appear on Winfrey’s talk show in 2006, someone sent an email to the show warning them about the alleged molestation. Harpo Studios faxed the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report was then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by Springdale police.

Considering it was 2006 and the incidents occurred in 2002 and 2003, cops could not pursue charges because the [then] three-year statute of limitations had expired.

Now that the report has gone public, Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, issued a joint statement of their own to People: "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."

Their statement continued, "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 is the oldest of the Duggar's 19 kids. He is married to Anna, 26, and they have three children ages 5, 3, and 1 with a fourth on the way. According to Josh's wife, he revealed his past mistakes to her two years before he popped the question.

"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock," she told People. "When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was — even every difficult past mistakes."

Anna truly believes Josh is a changed man thanks to the counseling he received. "He continued to do what he was taught. [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."