Josh Duggar resigns from anti‑gay hate group amid reports he molested five girls as a teenager

Josh Duggar resigns from anti‑gay hate group amid reports he molested five girls as a teenager
Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar

PEOPLE Magazine reports:

In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, Josh Duggar, his wife Anna, and his parents Jim Bob and Michelle are speaking out in response to reports that Josh was once accused of molesting five underage girls as a teen.

“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, 27, tells PEOPLE in a 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.”

Josh has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council as a result of the accusations becoming public, but his family has stood behind him.

The allegations surfaced this week after In Touch Weekly obtained the 2006 police report that detailed the allegations after his father Jim Bob turned him into Arkansas police:

In Touch reports:

Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies.

Jim Bob (James) and Michelle Duggar were interview by the Springdale Police department on Dec. 12, 2006. The report says that James told police he was alerted in March, 2002 by a female minor that Josh — who turned 14-years-old that month — had been touching her breasts and genitals while she slept. This allegedly happened on multiple occasions.

In 2006, Jim Bob told police that in July 2002, Josh admitted to fondling a minor’s breasts while she slept. “James said that they disciplined (redacted, Josh) after this incident.” The family did not alert authorities.

Jim Bob told police that about nine months later in March, 2003 “there was another incident.” Josh was again accused by a female minor of touching her breasts and genitals. Josh was accused by several minors of touching their genitals, often when they slept, but at times when they were awake.

Jim Bob then “met with the elders of his church and told them what was going on.” No one alerted the police or any other law enforcement agency. Instead they decided to send Josh to a “program [that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling. James said that [redacted, Josh] was in the program from March 17, 2003 until July 17, 2003.”

Michelle Duggar later admitted Josh didn’t get counseling, but was sent to stay with a family friend for a period of time, who she said was “kind of” a mentor.

Continue reading

Josh Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," now Executive Director of FRC Action, speaks at an ant-gay marriage rally in Little Rock.
Josh Duggar speaks at an ant-gay marriage rally in Little Rock.

[ Previous ]

The alleged molestations and the Duggar parents’ responses first came to the attention of police in 2006 when the family was scheduled to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, and an email was sent to the show warning them about the allegations.

The email was written by a 61-year-old female who is not identified.

Harpo Studios faxed the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline, leading to the investigation by Springdale police. However, when police asked Jim Bob to bring Josh in for an interview in 2006, he attempted to hire a lawyer and refused to produce his son for questioning.

The probe soon came to an end because the three-year statute of limitations had expired.

According to In Touch, Jim Bob Duggar, accompanied by some of his church elders, met with Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens in 2003 about the incidents.

Jim Bob Duggar knew Hutchens personally, and the trooper did not take any official action at the time and instead gave Josh a “very stern talk.” Hutchens is now serving a 56-year prison term for child pornography.

Josh Duggar, 27, the oldest of the Duggar children from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” joined the Family Research Council (FRC) in 2013 as Executive Director FRC Action, the organization’s legislative affiliate, where he has actively campaigned against marriage equality and LGBT rights. He is married with three children.

As Right Wing Watch notes, the FRC regularly paints the LGBT community as a precarious threat to children, and Josh Duggar and his family regularly participate in that rhetoric.

Last December, Josh Duggar led a successful campaign to defeat an LGBT nondiscrimination measure in Fayetteville, Ark., which he said jeopardized the safety of children.

Josh’s wife Anna, 26, reaffirmed her support for her husband after the news broke Thursday, telling PEOPLE that he confessed his “past teenage mistakes” two years before he proposed to her.

She stressed that her husband received counseling that “changed his life.”

Article continues below

In a statement on its website Thursday, FRC president Tony Perkins said Duggar “made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.”

“Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work,” Perkin’s statement read. “We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved.”

The FRC has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

ACLU sues Michigan over driver’s licenses for transgender individuals

Previous article

Judge again rules gay couples across Alabama have right to marry, puts decision on hold

Next article