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According to Salon, one of TLC's "19 Kids
and Counting" reality stars, Josh Duggar, was investigated for underage
sexual abuse of 5 girls back in 2005. Although he was also a minor at the time, Duggar was facing charges of sexual assault in the fourth
degree. In Touch reports that Duggar's
father Jim Bob caught him leaving the bedroom of an underage girl and subsequently turned him into Arkansas State Police.
The case fell through the cracks when the state trooper who was investigating the situation was pulled from the case and convicted of child pornography. The state trooper is now serving a
56-year prison sentence.
The interruption of the investigation caused the statute of limitations to pass
and Duggar was never prosecuted.
UPDATE:Radar Online is now reporting that "the Springdale Police Department released Thursday an unsealed report that details multiple alleged molestations that happened between the then teenager and several girls, almost always while the minors were sleeping." TMZ has confirmed with law enforcement that Duggar is the alleged molestor indicated in the reports. You can read the reports here.
UPDATE: Josh Duggar has released a statement to People stating "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."
Jim and Michelle Duggar also released a joint statement: "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.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."
Duggar's wife Anna says she was aware of his past two years before he proposed and that she remains supportive of her husband and that he has since "received the help needed to change the direction of his life and do what is right."