Josh Duggar — the eldest of the Duggar spawn on TLC's 19 Kids And Counting-- allegedly has a history of molesting, sexually assaulting, and "forcibly fondling" (shudder) young girls, including his own sisters, according to a 33-page police report obtained by In Touch Weekly.
In response to the leaked information, Duggar released a statement to People on Thursday that appears to verify the details of the police report. He has also resigned from his position at the Family Research Council in response to the accusations becoming public.
"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 in his statement. "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. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
Though the police report has some names and other identifying information redacted, both In Touch and TMZ confirmed with the Springdale, Ark., Police Department that the assailant in the report is in fact Josh Duggar.
Here's an excerpt from page 11:
"The alleged victims are (redacted), who live with their parents Michelle and Jim Bob (redacted). ... The parents said that 3 1/2 years ago when (redacted) was (redacted) admitted to fondling (redacted). They said that (redacted) said that (redacted) had been fondling (redacted) breast and vaginas when they were sleeping, from the time (redacted) was (redacted). They said that (redacted) also admitted to fondling (redacted) outside the home on her breasts."
According to the report, a member of their church found out about the fondling incident when an unnamed Duggar wrote a letter about it and put it in a book that was frequently loaned out to fellow churchgoers. When the Duggars traveled to Chicago to appear on Oprah's show, the church member forwarded a copy of the letter to Oprah's production company, which sent it to the authorities, prompting the investigation that led to the report.
Along with the letter, the church member sent a message: "Before you air the Duggar family from Arkansas with (redacted) you need to know the truth. They are not what they seem to be. (Redacted) has molested (redacted) while (redacted) were sleeping and the parents have been hiding this secret for a long time."
Later in the report, the police spoke to Jim Bob and Michelle. Jim Bob admitted that one of his children had come to him in 2002 and "had told him that (redacted) had been sneaking into (redacted) room at night and had been touching (redacted) on the breasts and vaginal areas while (redacted) were sleeping."
In an incident in March 2003, a Duggar child said they were sitting in the assailant's lap reading a book when the person fondled them.
Another reported the person put their hands under her dress in the laundry room.
According to the report, Jim Bob met with church elders about the problem and decided to send the molester away — but not to any certified sex offender rehabilitation program. Instead, he went to a "Christian ministry" program that consisted of "hard physical work and counseling." Michelle later said there was no counseling involved; he was sent to live with a family friend who was a home remodeling contractor and worked with him.
After completing the "rehabilitation program," Jim Bob took him to a state trooper and had him confess. The state trooper gave him a "very stern talk" but declined to take any legal action. At this point, the statute of limitations has run out, and no one can be charged for the crimes.
"Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives," parents Jim Bob and Michelle said in a joint statement. "When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."
Josh's wife Anna says he confessed his actions to her before they were married: "I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. ... When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was - even every difficult past mistakes. ... He continued to do what he was taught. [I know] 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."
In October 2014, TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo after reports emerged that Mama June was dating a convicted child molester. The network has not announced whether they will cancel 19 Kids over the new reports.