Josh Duggar Addresses Molestation Claims
A partially redacted police report recently obtained by In Touch claims 19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar was brought to the Children's Safety Center in Springdale, Ark., back in 2006 in order to be questioned for allegations stating he molested a number of underage girls when he was a teenager. The Duggar family has since responded to these claims.
In a statement released to PEOPLE Josh said, "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. 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."
According to E! News, the obtained police report goes on to state that Josh "admit[ted] to fondling" the five victims. Josh's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, allegedly reported the assault to a state trooper nearly a year after they were first made aware of the claims against their son. The New York Daily News goes on to report that the same state trooper who first took the report was later arrested and sentenced to prison for possession of child pornography.
Despite eventual interest in reopening the case against Josh, the statute of limitations had already passed due to Josh's status as a minor when the alleged assaults took place. The investigation was unable to go forward.
Jim Bob and Michelle also released a statement where they referred to the sexual assault and acts of molestation that Josh reportedly committed as "very bad mistakes." The statement does not express remorse for the victims.
It reads, "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. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."
The statement continues with the two asking for the public's forgiveness: "Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God. We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us – even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey – the good times and the difficult times – cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."
Josh's wife, Anna, reportedly knew about the assaults before they were married, as well. The two have three children together.
Josh has since stepped down from his position with the Family Research Council.