According to TMZ, they have confirmed with law enforcement that Josh was the alleged molester of five girls, some of whom were allegedly his sisters. And the incidents reportedly started in 2002, when he was around 14 years old.
TMZ claims that according to a police report, Josh allegedly "fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him ... in one case reading a book."
Nine months later, another incident was reported, but according to the police report, they were not immediately notified. TMZ reports that instead, Jim Bob Duggar and some of the church elders decided that Josh needed to be put into a treatment program. Although, Michelle Duggar reportedly said that what they really did was send Josh to do some manual labor with a man who was remodeling a building.
TMZ goes on to report that in 2006, the family was meant to appear on Oprah, but someone sent an email to Harpo Productions claiming that Josh had allegedly molested girls. The production company forwarded the email to a hotline, which subsequently triggered a police investigation.
Josh apparently cannot be charged now because the statute of limitations has run out. However, TMZ claims that according to a police report, one of the family members told investigators that "this entire incident had brought the family closer to God."
Josh released a statement with his family today, seemingly confirming that the molestation accusations are true, though the statement is sure to point out that at the time of the indiscretions, he was still a minor.
"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 writes. "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's parents, Michelle and Bob, are standing by their son, as is Josh's wife, Anna, who said she found out about his mistakes two years before he proposed.
"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this," Anna said in the same statement. "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 mistake."
It's important to note that none of the Duggars confirm Josh's "mistakes" as molestation and they don't go into detail about the nature of his crimes.
Still, Josh regrets what happened all those years ago, "I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."
Following the accusations, Josh resigned from his job at the Family Research Council.
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