TLC has yet another firestorm on their hands. Josh Duggar, 27, star of “19 Kids and Counting” is accused of allegedly molesting underage girls, including his sisters, twelve years ago. Josh released a statement saying that he “acted inexcusably” and was “deeply sorry” for “my wrongdoing.”
This is a horrific and profoundly sad event to occur to any family. The Duggar’s have received both love and criticism over the years due to their beliefs and lifestyle choices, but overall, was well received and TLC hit. However, just 24 hours after news broke of the scandal, TLC has decided to pull reruns of “19 Kids and Counting“ in the wake of allegations that Josh Dugger molested five underage girls as a teen.
“TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air,” said the network in a statement. “We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
The police report for Sex Offense-Forcible Fondling was filed recently on May 19, 2015, but the incident identified in the report occurred on December 07, 2006. Five victims were named in the heavily redacted report. So how did police find out about this nearly nine years later? According to the report, a “family friend” who knew of the molestation wrote about in on a piece of paper and placed that paper inside a book. Years later, that book was loaned to a church friend who discovered the letter and called a hot-line to report it.
When police called to arrange for an interview with the victim named in the letter, Michelle Duggar informed them that they were currently in Chicago to be on the Oprah Winfrey show. There is a note in the report that states just prior to their appearance on the show, Harpo Studios received a tip informing them what Josh Duggar is being accused of. The interview was scheduled for December 12, 2006.
During the interview, Jim Duggar admitted that his daughter came to him said “touching and fondling” had occurred 4/5 times to her by Josh while she was “half way” asleep. Jim says that he met with church elders about what had taken place. The elders decided that a four-month program with Christian counseling and manual labor would be best. About this “program” Michelle admitted to police in her interview that it was not a program with a certified counselor, but a guy who was “kind of” a “mentor” and was remodeling a house.
Of the children interviewed, some said they did not remember this event, though they knew it occurred 3 ½ years ago. One victim said she did remember the incident, but it only happened once, and that Josh had apologized and been forgiven for touching her buttocks. A different child told the detective that years ago the family had two meeting on Josh and his “inappropriate touching.” These meeting were one year apart and Josh was sent to the “Christian program” after the second family meeting.
So where were police when this occurred? Patriarch Jim said that they informed an Arkansas State Trooper who gave a “very stern talk” about what would happen to Josh if this behavior continued. The family was united in their position that Josh was reformed after he completed his “program” and no incidents have occurred since then. Most disturbing in the report were several quotes that this incident had “brought them closer to God.”
On December 19, 2006, the detective was informed by Jim Duggar that Josh had an attorney and therefore they were canceling his scheduled interview with police that day. The following day, the detective received a call from that attorney informing police that he had declined to represent Josh Duggar, and though he recommended another attorney, that attorney had also declined representation of Josh. The last entry on the police report is December 20, 2006 when the detective left a message for Jim Duggar on his cell phone referencing the interview of Josh.
Tell us what you think. Was this a cover up or was the ball dropped? Do you think “19 Kids and Counting” will survive this?