“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably,” Josh Duggar stated Thursday night in his formal resignation from the conservative Christian Family Research Council. “Inexcusably” is, perhaps, one of the greatest understatements when it’s made in reference to the allegation that you molested five girls—including allegations, as TMZ reports, from some of your sisters.
In the last day, a stream of increasingly upsetting details have been revealed about the eldest Duggar child in the popular TLC reality series, 19 Kids and Counting.
In Touch uncovered a police report that was filed regarding Duggar in 2006, in which he was accused of molesting multiple female minors in 2002 and 2003 when he himself was 14-15 years old.
The report, filed in December 2006 by the Springdale Police Department in Arkansas, reveals disturbing details about the allegations against Duggar. James (better known to TLC fans as Jim Bob) Duggar told police that in March 2002, he was tipped off by an alleged victim that his son Josh had been “sneaking into” a room at night and “had been touching… the breasts and vaginal areas.”
According to In Touch, Jim Bob did not immediately go to law enforcement authorities after his son admitted to some of the molestation claims made against him. In fact, the report says he waited over a year after Josh confessed to him. In March 2003, Jim Bob first told church elders about Josh, and the teen was sent to a “Christian program in Little Rock, Arkansas,” from March 17, 2003, to July 17 of the same year, according to the police report. In Touch reports that Michelle later told 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."
When Josh returned, Jim Bob said he took him to Corporal Hutchins with the Arkansas State Police. He gave Josh a “very stern talk,” according to the police report.
The Duggar family has now acknowledged the allegations and confirmed that 12 years ago Josh “made some very bad mistakes” and “that dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.” Josh’s wife, Anna, say he had admitted his “very difficult past mistakes” to her and her parents before they married. The 2006 police report was prompted when a person emailed Harpo Studios before the Duggars were supposed to make an Oprah appearance.
It all raises the question: Did TLC know of these allegations?
Now, Duggar is a 27-year-old father of three who is expecting a fourth in July. It had all the makings for yet another special for TLC, a network that has only painted the family in Hallmark hues since it started filming the clan in 2008. Weddings and babies have been TLC’s bread-and-butter. People magazine and The Today Show eagerly ate up every Duggar milestone announcement.
Up until now, the family courted only the kind of controversy they wanted.
Among the many inflammatory things the Duggars have said about reproductive rights, for example, daughter Jessa compared the Holocaust to abortion on Instagram. Mother Michelle recorded a robocall last year to get Fayetteville, Arkansas, voters to reject an anti-transgender discrimination ordinance.
And Josh, the unfortunate Duggar of the hour, has said several insensitive (at best) or homophobic (at worse) things about the LGBT community. In November, he led a rally in Arkansas against gay marriage, saying there was an “agenda to silence us, to silence those of us who believe in what is right."
In fact, the family’s series of anti-LGBT efforts led to a Change.org petition to get TLC to cancel their programs. In November, The Advocate noted it had more than 90,000 signatures. At the time of publication, the petition has nearly 190,000.
Now, the Duggars are in the news for more than a controversial remark or rally. Allegations of hiding child molestation charges—let alone incest—are ones that a family and a network may not ever be able to shake. Those behind the petition to get the Duggars off the air may finally get their wish, but it will be for reasons that even their biggest critics could not have—and would not have—wanted to imagine.