Josh Duggar Child Molestation Accusations: Parents & Wife Release Statements
Josh Duggar, the eldest son of the 19 Kids and Counting clan, has acknowledged the veracity of the reports that he was accused of child molestation as a teenager.
Josh Duggar Child Molestation Accusations
Earlier this week, it was reported by several outlets that Josh was accused of molesting numerous girls, some of whom were his sisters. The incidents started in 2002, and included touching the girls’ genitals, usually while they were sleeping, according to TMZ. To deal with the issue, Josh’s parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar met with church elders, who sent him to a treatment program.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret,” Duggar wrote in a statement posted to his family’s Facebook account. “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,” his statement continued. “I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life.”
Jim Bob and Michelle also released a joint statement, admitting their son’s wrongdoing, but also stating their belief that weathering the situation brought the entire family closer to God.
“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,” the statement reads. “We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God.”
As for Anna Duggar, Josh’s wife, who is mother to three of their children and with another one on the way, she stated her complete support for her husband and acknowledged that she’d known of the child molestation incidents for a long time. In fact, according to Anna, he told her and her family about his dark past at the start of their courtship.
“I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married – it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him,” Anna wrote. “And when you, our sweet fans, first met me when Josh asked me to marry him… I was able to say, “Yes” knowing 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.”
As a result of the reports being made public, Josh has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council.
“Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work,” read a statement from FRC President Tony Perkins. “We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”
As of yet, TLC, which airs 19 Kids and Counting, has not weighed in on the reports.
Josh was never formally charged for any of his offenses, and cannot now be charged due to the statute of limitations.