Josh Duggar, the oldest child of the famously prolific and conservative Duggar family, has resigned from an arm of the antigay Family Research Council amid the revelation that he was accused of molesting five minor girls when he was as a teenager -- and that some of his victims were apparently his sisters.
Duggar, 27, has admitted to having "acted inexcusably" as a teen, now that In Touch Weekly this week broke the story that he was the subject of a police investigation in 2006, based on accusations that he fondled female minors' breasts and genitals without their permission. The incidents reportedly occurred in 2002 and 2003, but the only involvement of police until 2006 was when Jim Bob Duggar, Josh's father, had him talk to a family friend who was also an Arkansas state trooper. That trooper, who took no official action, is now serving a prison sentence for child pornography, InTouch reports.
The investigation by the Springdale, Ark., police department came after a family friend found a letter, which had been stuck between the pages of a borrowed book, laying out Josh's alleged actions. Police filed no charges because the statute of limitations had expired.
The names in the police report obtained by InTouch were redacted, but the publication confirmed that Josh Duggar was the accused. TMZ is reporting that some of the accusers were his sisters.
Duggar today resigned from Family Research Council Action, the lobbying arm of the FRC, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because it circulates untrue and harmful information about LGBT people.
"Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years," FRC president Tony Perkins wrote in a statement posted on the home pages of both FRC and FRC Action. "Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved."
In a statement released to People magazine, Josh 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."
The statement about "counseling" is open to question -- In Touch reports that it consisted of working in a family friend's home remodeling business.
Josh's parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, posted supportive statements on Facebook, as did Josh's wife, Anna. The Duggar family has achieved fame as the subject of the TLC reality series 19 Kids and Counting, showcasing the large family and its conservative Christian values. The family members are well-known for their antigay views, having, among other things, campaigned against an LGBT rights ordinance in Fayetteville, Ark., passed by the City Council but then repealed by voters. A robocall Michelle Duggar recorded for the campaign cast transgender people as child predators. By the way, Michelle Duggar has a lesbian sister, Evelyn Ruark.