(WITI) — Josh Duggar, one of the stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, is now under fire for allegedly admitting to molesting minor girls when he was underage, some of whom were his own sisters, according to several media outlets.
In a statement issued by the family on Thursday night (read full statement at the end of this story), Duggar 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.”
Josh has resigned from his position with the Family Research Council after the allegations became public, according to People. According to a police report obtained by TMZ, Josh, who was about 14 at the time of the incident, allegedly molested five girls, beginning in 2002.
Josh is accused of touching the girls’ private parts, some of whom were asleep at the time. Nine months later, another incident allegedly occurred. According to police, they were not informed immediately about any of the incidents.
Instead of calling police, TMZ reports that Jim Bob Duggar, Josh’s father, met with church elders to send Josh to a treatment program. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar also spoke to People:
“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.”
According to TMZ, police investigated starting in 2006 when they received an email from Harpo, Oprah’s company. Harpo had gotten an anonymous email about the alleged molestation before the Duggars were set to appear on her show.
Police wanted to question Josh, who was still a minor at the time, but Jim Bob declined.
Josh cannot be charged because of the statute of limitations.
According to the police report, “this entire incident had brought the family closer to God.”
Additionally, on Thursday, one of Josh’s alleged victims filed for all documents related to the investigation be destroyed, as she did not want her name exposed if the documents went public.