Josh Duggar on child molestation report: ‘I acted inexcusably’

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

19 Kids and Counting Episodes Pulled From TLC Schedule Amid Josh Duggar Molestation Allegations, Apology.

Josh Duggar’s investigation record was destroyed by Arkansas police on Thursday, May 21, in the wake of the 19 Kids and Counting star allegedly molesting five girls. LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — TLC pulled the reality series “19 Kids and Counting” from its schedule on Friday, a move that follows reports of sexual misconduct allegations against one of the stars, Josh Duggar, stemming from when he was a juvenile.Why were evangelical reality star and conservative political activist Josh Duggar’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle so slow to act on the revelation that their eldest son had molested his younger sisters—and, ultimately, so lenient? In a statement, the channel said it was “deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.” The statement didn’t elaborate. The 27-year-old on Thursday issued a public apology, saying that 12 years ago, as a “young teenager,” he “acted inexcusably.” He did not directly address the allegations, first reported by In Touch magazine on Thursday, along with what it said was a scan of a 2006 Arkansas police report.

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. Documents about sexual abuse from the cult-like homeschooling program the family follows—which focus on public image and lay heavy blame on the victims of assault—may help answer the question. But only one of them cast their lot with Duggar Friday after he quit his position at the conservative Family Research Council amid reports that, as a teenager, he had molested children.

Also Friday, Arkansas police said they had destroyed a record outlining a nearly decade-old investigation into Duggar, a day after the 27-year-old resigned his role with a prominent conservative Christian group amid reports about the allegations. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.” Hours before Duggar’s statement, In Touch Weekly had published a partially redacted police report from the Springdale Police Department in Arkansas that, the tabloid said, contained details of the allegations against Duggar. You see, the Duggars aren’t just “Quiverfull” breeders and Bible adherents—they’re also adherents of the Advanced Training Institute, a Bible-based homeschooling program run by alleged cult figurehead Bill Gothard. Huckabee’s quick and full-bodied embrace of a disgraced figure at the heart of a shocking scandal immediately stood out as an almost politically suicidal act of loyalty. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before its destruction, reports Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003.

Months before the family had to deal with the revelation of Josh Duggar’s past sexual abuses, they were coping with sexual abuse allegations against Gothard. His comments lit up Twitter, with even conservatives expressing incredulity that he would go all-in for the Duggars, who are well-known in social conservative circles. And so you choose to do what anyone else with such a blessed existence would do: You fill your house with cameras and broadcast your lives for all the world to see.

No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story,” Huckabee wrote in a Facebook post. “Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things,” the former Arkansas governor continued. “The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one’s judgement is not mature. Gothard last year denied accusations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted 34(!) women, claiming “I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.” He was 79 years old at the time.

Suddenly, the presidential candidate was a central part of the story — and found his name on social media alongside with words like “molestation.” Yet Huckabee’s unapologetic defense of the family is less politically risky than meets the eye. Normal, happy, functional families don’t yearn to have their homes filled with television producers, their children’s faces plastered on billboards and across the Internet.

He’s engaged in a battle with Rick Santorum and several other candidates for the votes of evangelicals and social conservatives — at a time when those voters feel besieged by the forces of secularism and the mainstream media. Springdale Police began investigating Duggar in 2006 when officers were alerted to a letter containing the allegations that was found in a book lent by a family friend to someone else. They are no more perfect a family than any family, but their Christian witness is not marred in our eyes because following Christ is not a declaration of our perfection, but of HIS perfection.

The document also blames porn, advising families to “pray for protection from pornography.” According to Recovering Grace, ATI’s Counseling Seminar curriculum also includes a handout on “Counseling Sexual Abuse,” which examines the many ways that a victim could have brought abuse on him or herself by “defrauding” God: Did you dress immodestly? They eschewed things like birth control, alcohol and drugs, opting instead for things like church, posting inspirational religious Instagram quotes, and lots and lots of children. They endorsed him again this year — abandoning Santorum, their 2012 choice — and several members of the Duggar clan even attended Huckabee’s recent presidential launch in Hope, Ark. For his part, Santorum, who is expected to announce his presidential campaign next week, has stayed silent: there was no statement and a representative for the former Pennsylvania senator didn’t respond to a request for comment. A normal, healthy, functional family would hunker down and work to maintain the privacy of their other children, and ensure their son wouldn’t victimize anyone else.

Only then does it move on to what to do “if” the abused was miraculously “not at fault.” That advice basically consists of saying “It could be worse. Dave Carney, a veteran New Hampshire Republican strategist, said that every day candidates are asked about the activities and actions of supporters is another day their campaign message gets lost. “There are different levels of scrutiny, different levels of pain, but it’s always a distraction,” he said. “There are only so many media stories that are going to be written today about your campaign.” And if I have to choose, I’d rather have that than not be sexually abused!” It’s not certain that the Duggars came across either of these specific documents during their decades of ATI-approved homeschooling, but their association with Gothard’s institute is well-documented. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.” Josh’s pregnant wife Anna, 26, also addressed the incident on Thursday. “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this.

I remember feeling that same shock,” she explained on the family’s Facebook page. “When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. The 18 Duggar children who aren’t accused of molestation are now at the center of a media frenzy, made bigger by their parents’ choice to force them to live their lives in the spotlight. If it looks like hypocrisy, it’ll be, ‘Who are you to throw a stone?’ ” FRC is often the go-to group when the media is looking evangelical, pro-family messages. In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center controversially listed FRC as an anti-gay hate group. “I deeply regret that recent media reports about my long ago past has brought negative attention to FRC Action and its work to preserve and advance the interests of family, faith, and freedom in the political arena,” Duggar said in his resignation letter, which was published by People magazine. In “Growing Up Duggar: It’s All About Relationships,” published last year, Josh Duggar was quoted as saying that “as I became a young man I was constantly tempted to have lots of wrong thoughts and often battled to keep my heart right.” The book was written by the four oldest Duggar sisters.

We will be praying for everyone involved.” Amidst the uproar, both daytime talk show host Montel Williams and former Honey Boo Boo star Mama June Shannon have spoken out against the Duggar family and TLC. That officer gave the perpetrator “a very stern talk” but didn’t report the matter to child-abuse investigators, the report quotes Jim Bob Duggar as saying.

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. Recently, Michelle Duggar successfully helped a campaign to repeal a Fayetteville, Ark., ordinance that would have prohibited discrimination in the city on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Although the number of adherents is small within the larger American evangelical Christian community, the Duggars’ large following and wholesome image have helped the family function as ambassadors for their way of life.

The Duggars have previously promoted the teachings of Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a conservative organization that was once popular among the Christian homeschooling movement.

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