Josh Duggar is hoping to convince a jury that he’s just as much of a victim as the sisters he sexually molested. According to recent reports, he’s joining the federal breach-of-privacy lawsuit that Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar filed last month.
The four Duggar sisters are suing InTouch Weekly, Washington County, and the city of Springdale Arkansas over the 2015 release of redacted police reports. Josh Duggar molested Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna when he was a teenager, and the documents detail the sexual abuse that the then-minor girls endured at the hands of their older brother. Josh’s youngest victim was just five years old when she was molested.
The breach-of-privacy lawsuit filed by Josh Duggar’s victims alleges that the police reports were unlawfully released, and the Duggar sisters are seeking damages for the “emotional distress, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, and economic harm, including reputational and professional harm,” that they suffered as a result of documents being published online by InTouch. Now, TMZ is reporting that Josh is seeking to join his sisters’ lawsuit. In his motion to intervene, he claims that he was “victimized and forced to relive the painful and difficult circumstances of a traumatic experience as a juvenile.” According to the Daily Mail, Josh Duggar further attempts to paint himself as a victim by arguing that he “has suffered severe emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, and harm to both his personal and professional reputations.”
Josh seemingly believes that he was unfairly treated by the public in comparison to his victims. In his motion, the former 19 Kids and Counting star muses that Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna were viewed as sympathetic figures while he was not. He also argues that the police reports describing his behavior were released and published “maliciously,” and he points out that he was never charged with a crime. Because no charges were filed, he believes that the police reports never should have been released. And if the public never became aware of his actions, he’d likely still be employed by the Family Research Council and starring on 19 Kids and Counting.
However, as InTouch Weekly pointed out in 2015, the only reason Josh Duggar was never charged was because of his parents’ failure to take action. On multiple different occasions, he told his parents that he was molesting his younger siblings, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar never turned their son in to the proper authorities. In 2003, 16 months after they became aware of their son’s behavior, Jim Bob and Michelle contacted Joe Hutchens, a state trooper who simply gave Josh a “very stern talk.” According to the Huffington Post, Hutchens is currently in prison serving out a 56-year sentence for possessing child pornography. During a prison interview with InTouch, Hutchens accused Josh’s parents of lying to him about the extent of the molestation. He said that the Duggars only told him about one incident, and now he regrets not calling the abuse hotline and having a full report made.
Experts told InTouch that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar could have been charged with Permitting Abuse of a Minor (Arkansas Code 5-27-221) for their inaction, and they could have faced six-year prison sentences. Instead, they and their son went on to become reality show stars.
Josh Duggar’s parents and his victims did eventually get interviewed by the police, and this only happened because the Duggar family accepted an invitation to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 2006. Ahead of the Duggars’ appearance, someone with knowledge of the family’s sexual molestation secret informed Oprah’s production company about it via email. The email was forwarded to the Department of Human Services, and Josh’s parents and victims were interviewed. However, Jim Bob refused to bring his son in for questioning, and Josh avoided criminal charges because the statute of limitations expired later that year.
In the Complaint and Request for Jury Trial filed by Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar, the sisters allege that they were assured by authorities that any statements they made about what Josh did to them would remain confidential because they were minors at the time the abuse took place. They also complain that they were “re-victimized by having the details of their sexual assault reverberating through the media.”
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna have three major TV networks in a bidding war over a primetime interview about their lawsuit. There’s no word whether Josh Duggar will join them for his first TV appearance since 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled.
[Featured Image by Josh Duggar/Twitter]