Josh Duggar of the reality show, 19 Kids and Counting has resigned from his position as executive director of Family Research Council after admitting to having molested five underage girls, including some of his own sisters, 12 years ago when he was a teen in Arkansas, according to USA Today.
The news of Josh’s child molestation was made public on Thursday. He apologized and issued a statement. The child molestation occurred in 2002 and 2003, but a police report was not filed until 2006, even though Josh told his father about them a year earlier. No charges were ever filed, and the statute of limitations has since passed.
Josh, 27, is the oldest of the 19 Duggar children who is seen on TLC’s show 19 Kids and Counting. He is married to Anna, 26, and she is pregnant with the couple’s fourth child.
Josh admitted that the reports are true and that he is “extremely sorry” for his actions.
“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’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, also released a statement via their family’s Facebook page saying that the events 12 years ago were “difficult times” and brought the family closer to God.
Josh’s wife also said in a statement that Josh had informed her about his “past teenage mistakes” two years prior to their marriage.
The Family Research Council in Washington denied knowing anything about the allegations prior to hiring Josh. The organization is a conservative Christian group formed in 1981 by James Dobson. The FRC promotes traditional family values by advocating and lobbying for socially conservative policies. It opposes and lobbies against LGBT rights, abortion, divorce, embryonic stem-cell research, and pornography.
This story came to light when Oprah was told about the molestation when she was investigating the Duggars to be on her show.
People reported that reruns of the show have been pulled from TLC’s lineup.
“Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. 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.”
[Image via NY Post]