Strap in for a real shit show: In Touch has a police report from 2006, stemming from an investigation into accusations that, while a minor, Josh Duggar fondled several underage girls.
Earlier this week, In Touch dropped an exclusive, alleging that Josh had been the subject of an “underage sexual abuse probe” in 2006. The details were fuzzy, the report was confusing and it was from In Touch, your go-to for thinly-sourced stories about unlikely feuds within the British royal family. No Longer Quivering says that rumors about the accusations have been floating around online for years, but anybody who’s spent time on Internet message boards knows that could mean there’s something there, or that there’s a really dedicated hoaxer at work. Nothing solid had ever surfaced.
But now In Touch says they’ve gotten their hands on a police report, via the Freedom of Information Act—which means matters just got a lot more serious. The names in the report are redacted, but they say they’ve confirmed it’s regarding Josh. In Touch says:
Josh Duggar was investigated for multiple sex offenses — including forcible fondling — against five minors. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies. Jim Bob 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.
Emphasis mine. According to the police report, the Duggars told the cops that a few months later after “another incident,” they sent Josh off for what definitely does not sound like a scientifically sound counseling program:
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.”
In Touch says that, in a surreal turn of events, the state trooper who took the original report in 2005 was arrested and convicted on child pornography charges, delaying followup until the family was set to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show and somebody (unnamed) contacted Harpo Studios, who forwarded the accusations to a local hotline, according to In Touch. But the clock had already run out on the three-year statute of limitations.
There’s still quite a few questions, here, but now that there’s a police report, the Duggars and TLC will surely have to respond somehow, eventually. I’m sure America will handle this case with sensitivity and tact. Oh, sorry, I was hallucinating. This is going to be a fucking mess.
Image via AP.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.