Thursday, May 21, 2015

Josh Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids & Counting // Family Research Council Leader Was Accused of Molestation in 2005 // Updated Below

Originally written on 05/20/15: In Touch Weekly posted an article indicating that Josh Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" reality TV show was involved in an "underage sexual abuse probe" back in 2005 when he was 17-years-old:
Josh Duggar of the TLC hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting was named in a police report as the “alleged offender” in an underage sexual abuse probe, In Touch magazine is reporting exclusively.

The charge being pursued while Josh was a minor was sexual assault in the fourth degree, multiple sources who have seen the police report and are familiar with the case told In Touch. According to the report, Josh was brought into the Arkansas State Police by his father, Jim Bob, who said he caught him leaving a young girl’s bedroom and “learned something inappropriate happened,” one source said...

Rumors about Josh have swirled for years, but In Touch’s investigation has uncovered the secret he has been hiding. “I saw and read the report and it clearly stated that Jim Bob brought his son Josh into the Arkansas State Police and spoke to a state trooper about Josh’s involvement in alleged inappropriate touching with a minor,” one source told In Touch.
In Touch Weekly reported that the investigation became complicated when the state trooper involved with this case himself was arrested and convicted on child pornography charges and sentenced to 56 years in prison.

The investigation against Duggar was eventually dropped when the three-year statute of limitations passed.

It is extremely worth noting that Josh Duggar has not been convicted of anything related to these accusations. We also do not know the details surrounding this accusation or anything about the victim. It could easily be a situation involving a teen girl in a consensual exchange -- that his conservative Christian father objected to on moral grounds, causing him to pull a "tough love" move.

Josh Duggar is currently a senior executive with the Family Research Council. Part of his job is traveling the country in a bus and advocating against LGBT rights and families.

Updated on 05/21/15: In Touch shared an update to this story, including police records involving this case. Contrary to how things were reported earlier, it appears that Jim Bob Duggar waited over a year before going to the police, and that came after circumstances required that he take his son for a statement.

The reported abuse goes back to March 2002 and appears to indicate that the victims included female family members. All of these identities were redacted in police reports, but what other conclusion can you get from this?:
The alleged victims are {redacted}, who lived with their parents Michelle and Jim Bob {redacted}. The caller says that the family is not willing to tell anyone this unless they find out. The caller says that they found out this and asked the family about it, so the parents told them about it with {redacted} sitting right there. The parents said that 3 1/2 years ago when {redacted} was {redacted} admitting to fondling {redacted}. They said that {redacted} said that {redacted} had been fondling {redacted} breast and vaginas when they were sleeping, from the time of {redacted} was {redacted}. They sadi that {redacted} also admitted to fondling {redacted} outside the home on her breasts. The father said that he went to a state trooper and reported this, but no report was ever filed. The caller says that the father knew this trooper before hand, but they do not know how well. The caller said that the parents put {redacted} in some type of rehab place for 3 months in Little Rock, but it ws not a rehab for sex offenders, and then {redacted} came right home. The caller is concerned that this was never reported and {redacted} never received treatment.
According to In Touch:
Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were interviewed by the Springdale Police department on Dec. 12, 2006. The report says that James told police he was alerted in March, 2002 by a female minor that Josh — who turned 14-years-old that month — had been touching her breasts and genitals while she slept. This allegedly happened on multiple occasions. In 2006, Jim Bob told police that in July, 2002 Josh admitted to fondling a minor’s breasts while she slept. “James said that they disciplined (redacted, Josh) after this incident.” The family did not alert authorities.

Jim Bob told police that about nine months later in March, 2003 “there was another incident.” Josh was again accused by a female minor of touching her breasts and genitals. Josh was accused by several minors of touching their genitals, often when they slept, but at times when they were awake. 

Jim Bob then “met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.” No one alerted the police or any other law enforcement agency. Instead they decided to send Josh to a “program [that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling. James said that [redacted, Josh] was in the program from March 17, 2003 until July 17, 2003.” 

He said the program was a “Christian program.” Michelle Duggar later admitted to police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent during that time to a family friend who was in the home remodeling business. 

Asked about the training center that Jim Bob said Josh was sent to, Michelle told police, according to the report, “it was not really a training center. Det. [Darrell] Hignite asked if the guy [redacted, Josh] talked to was a certified counselor. She said no. She said it was a guy they know in Little Rock that is remodeling a building. Det. Hignite asked if the guy was more of a mentor. She said “kind of.”
According to the report, Josh apologized to his female victims and they reported forgave him.

This all came to a head in 2005 when a family friend found a copy of a letter detailing all of these offenses. The letter had been written and stored in a book. The book was subsequently loaned out and discovered by the caller. The Duggar family was then scheduled to appear on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Somebody warned the show's staff of this incident. Harpo Studios then forwarded the letter to the DHS, who finally formally instigated this investigation.

As far as I have been able to determine, neither TLC nor the Family Research Council have commented on this story or these accusations.

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