Josh and Anna Duggar Shut Down Website Amid Molestation Reports

25 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A timeline of the molestation allegations against Josh Duggar.

Josh Duggar, the oldest son of the Duggar family, apologized Thursday after a tabloid published allegations that Duggar had molested multiple young girls as a teenager. A day later, TLC announced that the family’s show, “19 Kids and Counting,” which just finished airing its most recent season Tuesday, had pulled all episodes of the program off the air “effective immediately.” Although the developments moved quickly, the allegations themselves have existed out of the public eye for more than a decade. The network sparked outrage by running a 19 Kids and Counting marathon on Thursday, the same day that Josh admitted to “wrongdoing” in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

A police report obtained by In Touch Weekly and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette appears to detail those allegations, though the names of the suspect and all of the victims have been redacted from the report, because all were minors at the time. The Democrat-Gazette noted that the details of the report it has reviewed match statements made by the Duggars concerning the unspecified “wrongdoing” for which Josh Duggar has apologized. In the police report, which PEOPLE has confirmed is in reference to Josh, it appears that Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, knew about the alleged molestations and didn’t go to authorities at first, but rather to fellow church members. “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,” Josh said on Thursday before announcing he had resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.

May 2002: Jim Bob Duggar, the family patriarch, who served in the state legislature as a representative from 1999-2002, loses a primary bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. March 17 to July 17, 2003: At the agreement of the elders at the Duggars’ church, the report says, the person was sent to a Christian treatment program. Shortly after the institute acquired the building, Gothard began renovating the space, saying it would be used for the Little Rock Training Center, which would house “court-referred youthful offenders in the organization’s Bible-based rehabilitation program,” according to an April 2000 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In 2014, Gothard resigned from the Institute in Basic Life Principles following allegations of sexual harassment, molestation and failing to report child abuse. A spokesman for the Institute couldn’t confirm or deny to the Democrat-Gazette whether a youth treatment program was in place at the building in 2003.

July 2003: According to Jim Bob Duggar’s statement to police, this is the first time that the family tells a law enforcement official about the incidents in their home. The matter went no further at this time, according to the report, and the corporal told the group who approached him that because they “had already put [redacted] through a treatment program, there was nothing else to do.” That officer, Joseph Truman Hutchens, is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence in an Arkansas Department of Correction facility for child pornography offenses. September 2004: The Duggars star in their first big national television special, “14 Children and Pregnant Again!” The special aired on Discovery Health. The Duggars did a series of specials from 2004 to 2007 that documented the births of the 15th, 16th, and 17th Duggar children, as well as the family’s move into a larger home.

The producers of Oprah’s show passed along the e-mail to law enforcement. 2007: As Gawker reporter Allie Jones (who, for disclosure, was a past colleague of this reporter at the Atlantic Wire) has written, 2007 is approximately when similar rumors of sexual misconduct begin to appear online, mainly on comment threads and forums that focus on the Duggars. Sealed cases aren’t supposed to be left in public view, but the Duggar case file had been left in a stack of routine court filings at the circuit clerk’s office. Speaking to the Associated Press, Lewis says, “The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record … as far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.” Similar reports, Lewis added, are typically kept on file indefinitely.

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