Legal Blog: Josh Duggar – Examining Why Some Perpetrators Get Special Treatment In Our Criminal Justice System

Posted on May 26 2015 - 11:37am by Stacy Slotnick, Esq.

Josh Duggar

While the halo effect may have drastically subsided, many wonder why “19 Kids and Counting” star Josh Duggar was not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. What becomes of a celebrity known for piety and puritanical leanings that is embroiled in a child molestation scandal? A vocal segment of society thinks celebrities get preferential treatment in the nation’s legal system, and the case of Josh Duggar may prove them right.

Many observers feel that certain genders and races receive preferential treatment in our criminal justice system, which means that they are less likely than others to be convicted for the same type of offense and expected to serve milder sentences. One group is especially singled out by the public for special treatment under the law: Celebrities. 

Stars ooze wealth.  The judicial system arguably treats them differently from regular folks because the former has a lot of money to fight allegations so charges may not be filed against celebs with the same consistency as unknown culprits.

The celebrity criminal defendant is well dressed for court appearances.  He/she does not look like the typical child molester, if there is such a thing. He/she appears clean-shaven, friendly, and approachable since this individual has been coached as to what to say and how to act. Instead of a public defender, the criminal defendant has a team of the most expensive lawyers in the country that might have the “It” factor, too.

Prosecutors may have far fewer resources than an attorney retained to represent Josh Duggar, whose father was a state representative from 1999-2002. Law enforcement officials have learned that when investigations involve celebrities – even D-List ones like Josh Duggar – they must usher in more proof, extra witnesses, and equivalent star power in a court of law.

A juror deciding the fate of a celebrity tends to view prosecutors more skeptically, as best evidenced by the 2005 acquittal of Michael Jackson on child molestation charges. Everyone microscopically examines everything the prosecutor does in a case involving well-known persons because they think prosecutors charge more frequently and overcharge when the defendant is a VIP.

Jurors might believe that when law enforcement goes after celebrities, they are punishing them for being famous. The public’s scrutiny of investigators, police officers, and the DA’s office surges when the players in crime dramas are familiar figures, which might deter charges against luminaries from being filed in the first place.

A contrasting view is that household names invite more thorough investigations, higher-up review, more aggressive prosecutions, and news leaks to sink a celebrity’s case. But this isn’t what happened with Josh Duggar. Beginning in 2002, Josh, an ostensibly well-mannered male from a religion-loving clan possibly received preferential treatment by the justice system.

The Duggars became a household name over a decade ago when “14 Children and Pregnant Again!” first aired. The specials morphed into a series about the Duggar family before becoming a bona fide TLC hit in 2008. 

The family that preached conservative values and lived within a so-called cult of purity is now at the center of a sexual abuse maelstrom. The alleged victims of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation were his nearest and dearest, i.e., siblings.

Josh Duggar

Patriarch Jim Bob knew as early as 2002 that Josh Duggar – who was 14 at the time – was accused of sexually abusing an underage girl. The teen was ultimately suspected of inappropriately touching five underage girls, some of whom were his sisters, between 2002 and 2003. 

Jim Bob, who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives, did not immediately go to law enforcement authorities after his son admitted to some of the molestation claims made against him. In fact, the police report says he waited sixteen months after Josh confessed to him.

In March 2003, Jim Bob first told church elders – makes sense since they have the legal ability to investigate, prosecute, and sentence perpetrators (note sarcasm) – about Josh. Then, Josh was sent to a Christian program called the Basic Life Principles Training Center in Little Rock (not a counseling center) from March 2003 to July 17 of the same year, according to the police report. July 2003 is the first time that the family tells a law enforcement official about the incidents in their home.

A corporal in the Arkansas State Police gave Josh “a very stern talk” about his actions. The corporal told the group who approached him that because they “had already put [redacted] through a treatment program, there was nothing else to do.” The police report indicates Michelle and Jim Bob told police that they had disciplined their son themselves. I am unfamiliar with any law in the United States that places prosecutorial decisions and criminal punishment in the hands of the perp’s parents.   

Sometime around 2005, the state trooper (Joseph T. Hutchens) who originally took the report in which the charge being pursued was sexual assault in the fourth degree failed to follow up and was later convicted on child pornography charges.  (Hutchens was jailed on child porn charges, paroled, and arrested again on porn charges leading to a 56-year prison sentence.) 

In the wake of the trooper’s arrest, someone in the police department reportedly contacted the Child Abuse Hotline. Then, the Crimes Against Children Division and Springdale Police Department became involved. However, by that time, the three-year statute of limitations that then existed had passed.  Today, a prosecution may be commenced for a violation of this crime at anytime under Arkansas law.

Legal technicalities sink cases.  Yet even without the statute of limitations hiccup, if the state trooper weren’t so dazzled by the Duggars would Josh Duggar be sitting behind bars now instead of celebrating a gender reveal party for his fourth child, a daughter?

Josh Duggar, who resigned as head of the lobbying arm of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council, publicly admitted to the wrongdoing on social media last week. In the court of public opinion, Josh is a child molester. Could that be a fate worse than one handed down by the criminal justice system?

Before the statute of limitations had run to file criminal charges, the Duggars were cashing in on their newfound fame. There is no question they were celebrities in the mid-2000s even if they had not yet reached “Jersey Shore” reality TV status.  In fact, in 2006, they were scheduled to be the subject of an episode on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” but it never aired since staffers had been told that Josh had molested five minor girls. (Harpo received an email in December 2006 in which the sender claimed that Josh had molested minor victims and the Duggars were “not what they seem to be.”)

A fax from Oprah Winfrey-owned Harpo tipped local authorities off to a possible crime having been committed. Harpo alerted the Arkansas State Police Child Abuse Hotline and the Springdale Police Department received a copy of the email in December 2006, according to the police report.

Josh’s record was expunged, which is the legal elimination of criminal history records. Several days ago, a judge ordered that the entire report be expunged (made confidential) to protect – allegedly – the identity of a minor child named as a victim of a sex crime in the report. Was expungement the result of a careful, independent review of this case to protect the victims or the consequence of the eldest Duggar child’s celebrity status?

According to Arkansas law, records do not completely disappear physically, but they are emblematically unavailable from the view of the public. For legal purposes, after a criminal record is expunged, it is as though the crime never happened.  The police report and investigation materials that contained the allegations that Josh Duggar molested young girls was said to be destroyed on May 21 by Judge Stacey Zimmerman. A victim was worried an unredacted copy of the police report might be leaked, so she requested the record be expunged.

Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis noted, “As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn’t exist.” A person is legally permitted to state that the conduct never occurred and that the record does not exist, which could be problematic should the victim(s) want to file a civil suit.

Remember, victims of child sexual abuse may pursue justice through both the criminal and civil justice systems. In Arkansas, lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse must be brought within 3 years after the victim has reached 18 years of age, or within 3 years of the discovery of childhood sexual abuse. Now, in Arkansas, the sexual abuser as well as an institution or organization, such as a church or a youth organization, may also be liable for sexual abuse experienced by the child.  In order to prevail, the victim must prove that the defendant organization knew, or should have known, that the perpetrator was a danger to the plaintiff. The plaintiff/victim may prevail by showing that the organization negligently allowed the perpetrator access to the victim.

In some instances, the only requirements to receive preferential judicial treatment as a celebrity are that the person is recognized and loved by society. Punishing or pursuing charges against a person the public worships could be the driving force behind celebrity favoritism within the legal system. But sexual assault is a significant problem of American society. An act of sexual abuse can ravage a victim’s life. The criminal justice system should provide invaluable support regardless of whether the perpetrator is a celebrity or unknown individual.  Grab your gavel, join the conversation, and tell us what you think about preferential treatment in the criminal justice system.

 

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About the Author

Stacy Slotnick, a.k.a. The Foxy Jurist, holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. Stacy is the recipient of the Honors Deans Award; Simon and Satenig Ermonian Memorial Scholarship; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Opportunity Scholarship; and College of Humanities and Fine Arts Scholarship. She is also a William F. Field Alumni Scholar, an honor bestowed upon the most academically distinguished students. In law school, Stacy won two CALI Excellence For The Future Awards® and received an Achievement Scholarship. She is a member of the New York Bar. As an entertainment lawyer, Stacy counsels clients on contracts, branding, and public relations strategy. She negotiates with agents, producers, production companies, and lawyers to secure rights to projects on behalf of high-profile clients. Her clever, spirited, no holds barred legal analysis can be found in articles for The Huffington Post. * Facebook
 
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  • Jennymckitty

    Stacey, I am so glad that you wrote this. Thank you for taking the time to research it. What I read, which may be incorrect, is the non family member stated she didn’t remember this when she was questioned in 2006. I have a feeling the victims were less than forthcoming when questioned. Some were sisters. Others belonged to the same religious group. I don’t know if the others reluctance was due to the Duggers’ celebrity status as much as pressure to not sully the reputation of their religious sect. I think the Prosecution knew from the beginning that this would be difficult to win.
    Does anyone know if the trooper who originally heard the complaint was a member of their religious community? It seems as if Jim-Bob knew exactly who to go to.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      You make an excellent argument for why sexual assault cases are difficult to win. Victims are not always forthcoming because the traumatic and personal nature of the illegal activity makes them concerned about testifying and submitting to cross-examination.

      There is something seriously disturbing about the way in which the Duggars were able to thwart justice on account of those protecting them were members of the same belief system. It would not surprise me if pedophile Hutchens (state trooper) belonged to the same religious community but either way, he failed to perform his duties. You are right that Jim Bob knew exactly how to sweep the allegations under the rug.

      I’m so glad you commented here, and thanks for the kudos on writing this story. I think it was an important tale to tell. Perhaps it might even influence law enforcement and prosecutors to see sexual abuse cases differently because there has been such an immense backlash on how this case was handled by the system.

      • Jennymckitty

        Unfortunately, I think situations like this are more common than we than we believe. In reading, it sounds like they are not reported due to the reluctance to charge family members. It seems the Dugger’s took this seriously enough to take some sort of action. However, it seems they also actively thwarted legal action. It is a shame that the victims are having to relive this. I hope they can take some comfort in the support many of us offer them.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Good points. The problem I have, legally speaking, with the Duggars’ actions is that the jurisdiction of criminal behavior must be dealt with by law enforcement and the State.

          I second your call to support the sexual abuse victims. Our hearts go out to them. They are the ones who need support. Anna Duggar, Mike Huckabee, and Jessa’s father-in-law putting out statements supporting Josh is super counterproductive because it places emphasis on the perp and not the victims.

        • Becky

          I think they only took Josh to talk to the trooper about this in 2003 because he was a family friend and they knew he wouldn’t file a report. I think they wanted him to scare Josh, but they never had any intention for any police reports to be filed or criminal action to take place.

  • cheryl

    This is not about celebrity. They were not celebrities when this happened. It’s a cultural and small town mentality in these small towns in Arkansas. Everyone knows everyone else. The Dugger’s were just getting any kind of press exposure then. These small towns in Arkansas where an exit from the freeway separates a town are culturally close knit and the sheriff can live across the street and go to your church. I think it was more to protect their reputation in the church.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      The Duggars’ show aired on TLC years BEFORE the police report was generated, thus they had notoriety and exposure in the media. Because of this “small town” nature you describe, that most definitely contributed to a group (Duggars) of newly famous people getting off easy with a “stern warning.” You are on to something regarding the family and their confidantes wanting to protect the Duggars and maybe even the church’s reputation. What is the oversight that needs to take place in small towns where everyone knows everyone? How can justice operate effectively there?

    • side of Sour Cream

      I think the cover-up has more to do with “church” than with small towns or anything culturally specific to Arkansas.

      • Stacy Slotnick

        That’s a good point. Please do elaborate if possible.

        • side of Sour Cream

          It’s been my experience that there’s a reason people get heavily involved in these types of strict religions that are obsessed with controlling women and girls. And not to put too fine a point on it, but the reason is ALWAYS sex.

          And children learn what they live, as the saying goes.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            You have perfectly stated the situation. The far-right Christian sect is on the verge of collapse because their treatment of women run counter to mainstream America: absolute female submission, a ban on dating, a rejection of higher education for women, and shunning of contraception in favor of trying to have as many children as possible.

          • side of Sour Cream

            Hopefully those wack jobs will feel even more pain when the main stream Republicans finally figure out that being associated with that mess is costing them votes.

          • WestCoastFeed

            There are very few main stream Republicans left. The party has been hi-jacked by the Tea Party nuts. Those crazies who keep trying to curtail abortion rights over and over again.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            The Duggars’ political clout is gone, and that is a good thing. From former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee to former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, nearly every 2016 presidential candidate courting the social conservative vote has happily posed with the reality TV cast of “19 Kids and Counting.” Not anymore. I agree the former allegiance certainly does not promote the separation between church and state, modern ideas, and equality for all.

          • Becky

            I guess I would be lumped in with the ‘crazies’ as I do not support abortion or the other pillars of liberal ideology. But in spite of being a ‘crazy’ I am sickened by the pathetic response by the Duggar parents to this situation. There is no excuse for the way Josh got off, scot-free while the girls have to live with this for the rest of their lives. I don’t think this has anything to do with the Duggar’s political persuasion, but with the fact that the police officer who was contacted in 2003 was a criminal himself and didn’t file a report. The only report was filed in 2006 after Oprah reported the molestation to the police. By that time the statute of limitations had passed. End of story. The parents failed to ensure that their daughters were protected, and they failed to ensure that their son had proper treatment to prevent this from happening again.

  • itsjustme

    This whole series of events disgusts me. Not only is Josh an admitted molester, his parents did everything they could to hide it. They protected the molester, and NOTHING to protect his victims.
    These cults who live a patriarchal society just infuriate at me. There is so much worth put on the boys/men in the family and no worth at all on the girls/women. The only worth the women have in those families is to be breeders. I’m disgusted that there could ever be a statute of limitations on child molestation.
    Stacy, I do have a question. Is there a difference between expunging records and destroying them?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      You are completely accurate in your analysis of the situation. It seems that the emphasis was placed on the needs of the molester and not the molested, which is not unusual. Men are revered above women, from what I’ve read about the Duggar’s religion and culture. Such thinking leads to gender inequality, which may in turn translate into abuse of women. Moreover, “I’m sorry” seems to be enough, and it isn’t, and it never will be.

      Thankfully, Arkansas amended their SOL on child abuse as currently, such crimes can be prosecuted at anytime. This is no help to Josh’s victims, though.

      The expungement of the records/police report will be a barrier to the victims suing in civil court, should they ever go that route. Expungement under Arkansas law means the destruction of records but it is not a physical destruction. The records can never be seen by the public and they could not be used at a civil trial against Josh.

      • bali1228

        The judge that ordered the expungement needs to be investigated and disbarred. How can they destroy the records based on the wishes of one victim when there were five? How is that fair to the other four that may have chosen to litigate?

        • Stacy Slotnick

          You make a very valid point that it is counterintuitive that the record was destroyed when one victim out of five wanted it expunged. Expungement is serious because it means all traces that have to do with the investigation of Josh Duggar will be removed from the court’s criminal history database and sealed. No one in the public sector can obtain those records from that point on. Ordinarily such records are kept indefinitely. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette tried to contact Judge Zimmerman to find out why she made the decision to destroy Duggar’s Offense Record, but she did not return their request for comment.

          Tell us why you think Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered police to expunge Josh Duggar’s 2006 Offense Report.

          • bali1228

            Either because Jim Bob is a former state rep and has political connections, and/or she is a member of their church (which I find doubtful as their type don’t allow women in power). Clearly something is fishy…

          • Stacy Slotnick

            So you tend NOT to believe the announced justification for the destruction of the records, i.e., the victim did not want its name being leaked?

          • Jennymckitty

            Hasn’t that ship sailed? They didn’t release the girl”s name but they did release the parent’s name. I feel the police and media didn’t handle this information very well. These minor’s rights were not protected. The last names should have been redacted. We shouldn’t know that his sisters were victims. How many times do these girls have to be let down? First by Josh, then their parents, then their church and the patrol officer and now the media.

          • side of Sour Cream

            These girls and countless like them have been let down by a society that says it’s ok to treat women and children like chattel as long as it’s in the name of religion.
            For some reason not educating, properly socializing, or protecting your daughters is OK as long as you call yourself FLDS, or Amish, or Quiverfull, or Mennonite, etc., while dressing them up like Laura Ingalls on her way to a quilting bee.
            We are all victims of this sickness called religion that allows ignorant deviants to force their perverted lifestyles on as many children as they can create. No one wins.

          • Becky

            IMO, every parent has a right to raise their children as they see fit, as long as it is within the bounds of the law. What happened when Josh molested the girls and the parents failed to contact proper authorities and make sure that the case was handled properly was NOT within the bounds of the law. The problem here, as I see it, isn’t necessarily the Duggar’s religion, but their improper handling of a serious, criminal series of acts by their son. In MY version of Christianity, God cares equally about sons and daughters. I imagine that the Duggar’s probably care equally about their sons and daughters too, but they didn’t want this situation being made public. IMO, the way this happened wasn’t because they didn’t care about their girls, but because they cared MORE about their standing in their community/church.

          • side of Sour Cream

            If a parent cares more about his standing in the church than he does about his children, then he doesn’t care enough about his children.
            And taking children out of school before the age of 16 is not “within the bounds of the law”, which is what many of these fundamentalist sects do.

          • Becky

            Home schooling is legal in every state, I believe.

          • side of Sour Cream

            I’m not sure if it is or not, but I’m not talking about home schooling. That’s a whole ‘nother can of crazy I don’t want to open right now.

            The fact remains, anything other than rudimentary education is discouraged in these fundamentalist sects, especially for girls. And no one does anything about it because it’s part of their “religion”. You don’t have to take my word for it, just watch any documentary about people who leave. A big hurdle for them is just learning to fill out a job application.
            It’s wrong, and it is illegal, and no one does anything about it because: RELIGION.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Excellent points. Hence, the report was expunged for another reason.

          • bali1228

            As you said, these records are generally kept indefinitely. They would have continued to redact her name like any other sexual assault victim. I’m sure JB political status may have had something to do with it…or not. Either way I think it’s wrong.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Once again, authorities protect the molester. Besides, reports are rarely expunged so this indeed was an unusual case.

  • WestCoastFeed

    Josh instagrammed a Sam Houston quote–“Do right and risk the consequences.”
    I am speechless.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Wow. Shameless. Do you think Josh got special treatment because of his newfound celebrity (the Duggars were a household name beginning in 2004) back in 2006 when the police report was generated?

      • itsjustme

        Of course he did! Not only were they a household name at the time, their father had served in the H of R for Arkansas. By 2006 with the name recognition they were able to pick and choose who they told, knowing full well there would be no knowledge of these incidents being made public. If is my belief they chose to only go to their clergy and the scumbag officer friend of thiers knowing nothing would be done legally to Josh. SICK BASTARDS!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          I’m so glad you agree. Some people argue that Josh didn’t get the “celebrity treatment” in the criminal justice system but how is that even possible? They were on television beginning in 2004 and Jim Bob was a state representative, as you well note. I would love to hear from the Duggars what they are doing to help the survivors of abuse. Enough nonsense about Josh and his “inexcusable” behavior. That statement is self-serving and states the obvious.

          • Becky

            One of the most disturbing facts to me about this whole situation is that Josh’s acts were known to the parents BEFORE they started the show. It is really hard for me to imagine, as a parent, starting a reality show focused solely on family life, knowing that their son had molested his sisters. Didn’t they worry that something like this would maybe someday, somehow, come out? Didn’t they think about whether their daughters would be able to handle the emotional and physical intrusion into their lives so soon after their ordeal? Shouldn’t, instead, they have been focused as a family on healing, rather than basking in new found celebrity? I really can’t understand what their thought process must have been.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Great remarks, Becky! It would be my guess that they began this reality show focusing on piety and purity because they did not view Josh’s illegal acts the same way you and I do. In their religion and culture, women are not equal to men; rather, they are subservient to males. Moreover, they are uneducated insofar as they believe sending Josh to counseling at some religious center would cure him much like they believe you can “pray the gay away.” These people are not operating on the same intellectual axis as you and I using similar rules that we would apply to the circumstances. Does that make sense?

    • bali1228

      Oh dear God. That one always creeped me out (Jim Bob too) so I’m sad, but not surprised by any of this.

  • Goo Goo G’Joob

    This entire debacle has my blood boiling. Personally, I see it as co-religionists and political allies doing their utmost to protect Josh and bury the case, regardless of the ill effects on the girls he abused. The fact that currently he and his family are members of TLC’s highest rated show is just further incentive for these conspirators to continue to hide his heinous crimes. If one takes an objective look at the Quiverfull movement, especially at the leader/founder who is/was charged with 34 counts of indecent liberties with minors, it is very apparent that there is no respect for those of the female gender who are thus considered property by the head of the house, the male. Some critics have named this Quiverfull group “The American Taliban” and if one studies their messages concerning women’s roles in society as well as their beliefs that anyone different, whether LGBT or what, is not deserving of some basic human rights, there does seem to be a very strong correlation of their objective for the US. Right now, with so many soldiers still in the Middle East, fighting the Taliban, ISIS and Al Queda, I find it ironic that TLC picked an Americanized version who is calling for the establishment of a strictly Christian US and they’re trying to pass it off as wholesome entertainment.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thank you for your fine comments! You and I think alike: I mentioned on Twitter that based on what I’ve heard (off the record) from my news contacts, TLC is pumping up the media blitz on The Little Couple, who are wholesome, inspiring, and without scandal (for now). TLC fooled us once with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” Don’t fool us twice with the Duggars. Their true colors have been shown and if you cancel their show and strip them of residuals and royalties, I’d love to see them afford the lifestyle (jet-setting and platform to spout anti-LGBT speech and anti-women rhetoric) to which they have become accustomed. Thank you again for your wonderful remarks!

      In related matters, Mama June says she is going to sue TLC unless they put “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” back on the air. Her attorney told TLC the family is willing to work for the same terms as before and they are all on board. The lawyer told TLC he’d be happy to resolve the matter in court where he believes he can score a $1 million jury verdict. The attorney says if he doesn’t get any action within the week, he’ll file the lawsuit. Reality TV is bursting with legal stories!

      • Goo Goo G’Joob

        As much as I hate to say it, Mama June does have a point in her rant against TLC…why was she automatically canned and the Duggars were given a huge pass? The only possible reason is because the Duggars are a much bigger cash cow to the network than Mama June’s bunch. Please keep us posted on any and all developments in Mama June vs TLC.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          AATT and I will definitely make sure to keep you abreast of any and all legal developments regarding Mama June. There may indeed be a double standard by TLC execs because they treated her more harshly than the Duggar family in a child molestation scandal. Mama June claims her situation was rumors and innuendo whereas Josh is a known molester. The income Mama June lost as a result of TLC canceling her show could be the basis for the $1 million jury verdict threat.

          • Goo Goo G’Joob

            I just ran across the two statements TLC issued upon the advent of each scandal. Quite a big difference in the two I’d say.
            ————
            TLC statement about Honey Boo Boo…

            “TLC has canceled the series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately. Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”

            TLC statement about 19 Kids and Counting…
            “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.”
            ————-

          • WestCoastFeed

            Hypocrites!

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Great job placing the two TLC statements side by side so that we can evaluate the differences. Why would TLC’s “thoughts and prayers” be with “the family” who knew about the crime for over a year before reporting it. Moreover, why would TLC stand by those who may have thwarted justice for the victims? Sadly, some of the victims here are “the family.”

          • Goo Goo G’Joob

            They claim their concern in the Mama June instance is for the well-being of the children, yet we all know they just cut them loose and terminated all compensation. With the Duggars, they were still running an all-day Duggar marathon on the day that Josh resigned and did not stop until viewers became so outraged. They issue a lukewarm statement which really doesn’t say much of anything except Oh Geez, this isn’t looking good and we gotta say something. And they are busy scrambling around, trying to figure out how to keep some form of this ridiculous show on the air, most likely minus Josh and Anna. As Mama June pointed out, there are two sets of standards at play here and she got the short end in it.

    • Becky

      I don’t think its true that all Christians support Josh and his parents after this. I am a Christian, not quite as strict/Quiverfull as they are, but I am completely disgusted and sickened by his actions. And also by those who are trying to excuse what he did to these little girls.

      • Goo Goo G’Joob

        I never stated all Christians or any all everything. I said his co-religionists, meaning those who follow and adhere to the same strict fundamentalist path his family has chosen. I know some wonderful Christians who share none of the Duggars’ philosophies concerning treatment of women and hatred/scorn of the LBGT community, just as I know some beautiful Muslims who are appalled by the beheadings perpetrated by ISIL. The rabid fundamentalists of all religions are the scary ones and I try to never assume they speak for the religious body as a whole.

  • itsjustme

    You know, another thing that REALLY bothers me about all of this? Just how long did TLC know about all of this and yet CHOSE TO CONTINUE to reward this family? Before 2006, or at the same time Oprah’s company found out? I am POSITIVE they had to have known AT LEAST since 2006 and yet continued their relationship with this cult of a family!
    I have just read that besides General MIlls. Payless shoe source and Choice Hotels have also pulled sponsorship, and Jimmy Dean apparently is working on pulling theirs. Sadly, THAT is what it will take for TLC to take the Duggars off the air permanently, loss of $$$$. They don’t really give a rats ass if they lose some viewers, but boy! If they lose big sponsors, that hurts them in their bank account! Lets hope more and more companies do the right thing!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I wonder whether TLC opted to ignore the calls, letters, and investigation because they knew Josh would not be prosecuted. They probably felt, “Hey, if the law won’t issue consequences why should we? The law says he did nothing wrong.” That is one of the tragedies in this drama surrounding the State failing to prosecute — this family was given a platform to impose modesty and morals when they exhibited anything but those qualities. The sponsorship component sounds a lot like what advertisers did when Paula Deen went under for her racist remarks — lack of sponsorship/advertising money sinks shows.

      • itsjustme

        That is exactly what I think also. Most networks appear to turn a blind eye to wrong doing if they can still make a profit. That is until their money makers pull out. That is when they decide to do the right thing.. It’s sickening, but is exactly how corporate America appears to work.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Great minds thinks alike!

  • itsjustme

    I don’t know what the rules are for posting links, but I just saw one that quoted Jim Bob stating, during his 2002 campaign that Rape and Incest should both be punishable by death. All the while protecting Josh from having to face the consequences of his actions.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Wow. Thanks for the note/quote. It doesn’t surprise me that holier than thou people talk from both ends of their mouth. The tragedy is that Josh’s parents protecting him blew up in their faces. Shortcuts in life never work.

      • cait

        Well done for not responding to “Desperate Dumb”
        We’ll all stay with the sensible discussions !

        • Stacy Slotnick

          There is a credibility, sophistication, sensibility, and respect AATT posters like you consistently exemplify. Rants are neither persuasive nor interesting.

          • cait

            And the issue of Toshy Josh being a minor, at the time, does not absolve him of his deviancy. If they’ve admitted he’s a molester, how much more is there, to this story !
            We’ve had 2 separate cases, over here, this year where a 10 yr old boy and an 11 yr old were arrested and charged with raping small girls !

          • misstc

            And let’s remember Josh didn’t molest ONE girl out of curiosity & stupidity, but five girls we know of that to me shows a pattern of a pedo.

          • dj j

            absolutely, and it kept going on despite their weak attempts to stop him. That means he cannot control his urges, even though they were his sisters, so what is going to stop him from doing this to his daughters? There is no way these girls are the only victims, any child who had contact with him where he had an opportunity, is in jeopardy.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            That is an important inquiry (whether there were more victims, including Josh’s own children) for law enforcement to make. Some reports claim that Arkansas Child Protective Services will launch a full investigation into the Duggar clan with the promise to uncover any abuse in the home. Too little too late? I admit it is never too late to protect a child/victim, but where were they a decade ago? It is devastating that children were harmed and there were no legal repercussions back in the early 2000s.

            “If a woman is raped, the rapist should be executed instead of the innocent unborn baby,” Jim Bob said back in 2002. “Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.” I guess when his son became the molester, he was forced to whistle a different tune.

          • Teigan

            You do no that there is a difference between rape and molestation don’t you? We are not talking about rape. Don’t you have a law degree, one would think that anyone with a law degree would know the difference.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            While the seriousness of sexual abuse by adolescents like Josh is finally beginning to receive adequate attention from the professional community, the existence of child perpetrators has been largely dismissed and denied. Boys do molest children. The fact that Josh is an admitted perpetrator that did not receive any legal consequences makes the situation even more sickening.

          • Teigan

            How long would you expect your son to be lock up for touching your daughter? How would you have handled this situation if they were your children? Just curious.

    • dj j

      That is another detail that should also be largely noted. These parents are just as guilty or more so than Josh. Jim Bob was so hungry for governmental power to push his extreme right wing agenda, forcing the rest of us to adhere to his beliefs, that he put aside the safety and well being of his daughters. They were the sacrificial lambs for the families political desires, and TLC money.

  • THIS IS DUMB

    Wow – this is probably one of the most ill-written articles I have ever come across. Is this where the country is coming to? You take a situation that has nothing to do with racism or sexism and turn it into one. WOW! WOW! WOW!

    I will break the fallacies in this article so the people who read this can get a general idea of why this article is BS and put forth to push an agenda:

    The judicial system is not being biased to celebraties and the well off. Celebraties and the well off tend to have something called money, M-O-N-E-Y and that money affords them luxuries that a really good attorney, you know one that wouldn’t be writing the crap you just did. That attorney that the celeb paid a lot of money for has all these people called paralegals that do all this research for them and can even sometimes find these things called loopholes in the system cause face it, our judicial system is far from perfect. It will let a guilty man roam free while an innocent one spends years in jail – there is no denying that. The loopholes or precendent is in court not to prove the innocence of the defendant but more like a get out of free card. So its NOT the judicial system that getting these people off, its good ass damn attornies that research their sh— i.e OJ Simpson.

    Everyone should be well dressed for court appearances and look presentable and any good attorney will tell you do so. You don’t go to court dressed in your everyday clothes and if your attorney doesn’t bring this up, then you should get a new attorney. Don’t pull that crap about not being able to afford one either. If your in court and it’s the rest of your life at stake, you make scarafices to get one, end of story. There are many good attorneys that handle cases probono.

    You think the officer that gave Duggar a “stern talking too” was “bedazzled” or was it just a guilty conscience because he knows he, himself, was guilty of the same crime. I would bet my right arm that’s it’s the latter.

    The reason the entire record was expunged is because all involved was minors and this had been into a very public case. If you don’t understand the reasoning behind that, you need to go back to law school and relearn the information.

    This is ridulous. There are many reasons why the Duggar boy did not get charged and it has
    nothing to do with the judicial system. He was a minor and just because he is an adult now does not make him any less a minor than.

    The only reason why people are harping on this man is because of his very public views and that sucks. It doesn’t truly have to do with what he did and that what makes the public and people who write crap like this disgusting.

    Here’s why those involved are wrong. They portray themselves as self-righteous when they are far from it. When the Duggar boy was getting married, he portrayed himself as keeping himself pure and his family did the same. He could’ve said I made very poor choices when I was young or whatever
    he wanted to show he made “poor” choices and could’ve even admitting to doing it but choose not to. That is a MORAL issue not a LEGAL one and, morally, for all you people throwing stones at him, you
    all are real quick to judge while asking others not to the same towards Gray and Brown.

    • Fritz the. At

      Wow. Talk about ill written posts. Not even sure you were sober when you wrote that.

      • WestCoastFeed

        Don’t you love all the misspellings? And the run-on sentences?
        BTW, who are Gray and Brown? And what has anyone here said about them to irritate this poster?

        • Sophia Z.

          Gee, I wonder who “guest” was? So hard to figure out.

      • I love the part about being well dressed for court.”This is Dumb” is a real scholar. LOL! 🙂

        • cait

          This is Dumb has a nickname ! “DUMB” to his/her friends !

    • Racism / sexism? Your name represents your comment…^^^^ (This is Dumb)

    • bali1228

      TL;DR

    • side of Sour Cream

      Sounds to me dummy, like you’re the one with the agenda. So HOW! HOW! HOW! about you put that in your pipe and smoke it!

  • cait

    We were given to believe that Tosh had come forward and confessed, yet Stacy says above, that when confronted, he admitted (some of) his bad acts ! This I believe !

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Josh Duggar admitted to “past wrongdoing” with five underage girls as a teenager.

      The quote: “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 quote specifically says he “spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing.” Is there really any room for interpretation in that quote that would lead one to believe he did not molest children?

      • WestCoastFeed

        He says that he risked “ruining my life.” MY life!!! Nothing about his sisters’ lives. Infuriating!!!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          That’s right. Zero regard for the victims. It is a self-serving statement. Moreover, Josh Duggar “found forgiveness and cleansing from Jesus Christ,” in-law says. The emphasis is on Josh, not whether the victims have received attention and care. If I were a prosecutor, that would, in your words, “infuriate me” to no end. The last thing we want to see is a molester parading around his ability to move on. Guess what? Victims of sexual abuse rarely move on from the violation of their body and soul.

        • Gabby

          Only concerned for number 1…Josh!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Michelle and Jim Bob are on the cover of the new PEOPLE, telling the magazine they are not currently focused on the very real possibility that they’ll lose the TV show on which they’ve built a veritable empire. “Right now they’re just focused on their faith – and each other,” noted a source. Once again, pray the story away rhetoric. This story also tells me that they are not concentrated on their TV show being cancelled because they think they are untouchable, and the show is too popular to be removed from TLC’s lineup. There are many ways to interpret their statements, but usually the path of least resistance (faith) is their M.O.

          • WestCoastFeed

            They hired a PR crisis manager. I guess this is his first effort to clean up this mess. Just another effort at minimizing what Josh did and how they handled it.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            PR crisis communication 101 says that when it comes to a crisis, the public demands new levels of transparency, ownership, and accountability. The problem here is that the Duggars don’t seem to understand there was a very real issue with their son in part because Josh was not held accountable in a court of law — prosecuted — for his criminal acts.

          • WestCoastFeed

            I just read that the crisis manager declined to handle their case. So that People article is just their own doing.

      • Becky

        Interesting that all the comments made by the family say how he was a “young teenager”. Actually, he was 15 yrs old 12 yrs ago. I don’t consider that a “young” teenager. I guess they think that makes it sound better….

        • Stacy Slotnick

          I think what you are getting at is the fact that we should take notice of the overarching tone of the Duggars’ statements to the press. They are justifying and/or excusing the behavior of their son Josh by qualifying the circumstances surrounding the assault. Instead, the focus should be entirely on the victims and what was done to provide support and counseling for them.

  • Yolie

    Personally, I don’t feel Josh is receiving special treatment because of his celebrity. When you examine the facts in the case closely, you will see no rape took place and after Josh received counseling he never repeated the behavior again. We have to keep in mind, Josh was a minor himself when the incidents happened.

    • bali1228

      You’re so blinded by your “faith” that you can’t see the truth. Those babies had to wear pants under their dresses to keep him from violating them, so he would wait until they fell asleep to strip them of their pants and molest them. Those are the actions of a predator. I don’t care how old he was.

    • dj j

      I read the entire report, and just because it doesnt say he penetrated them, that doesn’t mean he didn’t rape them!!!! These girls were ALL prepubescent and unwilling!! A female’s sexual organ is not inside the vagina, it is on the outside. The youngest victim called his penis a pee pee holder, and her private parts pee pee holder. (she was 4 or 5 at the time, and she said he rubbed her and it ‘felt funny”. I have been raped…when i was 18, i found someone standing over my bed. I’m 50, and still am jumpy when i wake up when there is someone near me. Those girls faced this horror EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for 18 months and more!! Putting pants on under their dresses, thinking that would slow him down, they would wake up with them down around their ankles and him over them. Just because other things weren’t reported, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Those girls are forever messed up, they probably have ptsd. I can’t imagine being that young and worried about bedtime. (and it wasn’t imaginary monsters)..yet their parents, wouldn’t listen to them, they kept telling them, and they never did anything. They even allowed him to babysit AFTER his so called 3 month “treatment”, which Michelle admitted wasn’t really a treatment program. Just a guy who needed work done. Put yourself in those girls shoes, or your daughter, or granddaughter. Think about the betrayal of their parents, who profess to want to protect them from gay people who are pedophiles!!

      • Yolie

        If the report doesn’t say he raped/penetrated the girls then he did not do that. You’re insinuating he raped the girls based on your own personal opinion. He did not rape any of the girls.

        • Goo Goo G’Joob

          And you’re implying that simply because there wasn’t penile insertion, that no actual crime that isn’t cleared by an “Oh Geez! I’m Sorry!” was committed. Unwanted, unwelcome groping, fondling, touching of a sexual nature are crimes, no matter the perp’s biological age.

        • She Codes

          Do you believe that all 14 year olds who sexually abuse their sisters should get off scot free, or just this guy?

    • She Codes

      His own father has publicly stated, on record that incest perpetrators should get the death penalty. He said this a year after he discovered that his son was diddling at least four of his daughters. Guess all of this ‘understanding’ only goes for incest predators that he knows.

    • Gabby

      “you will see no rape took place…”

      He only groped and fondled his sisters in their sleep multiple times and got off on it…but NOPE, “no rape took place.” Gee, I wonder what he did to his brothers in their sleep?

  • Sophia Z.

    The Oxford Dictionary defines molestation as: Assault or abuse (a person, especially a woman or child) sexually.

    • James Bogdan

      I remember lying in my room when I was in high school and writing in a journal to my future husband. I’d write all sorts of notes and questions and things I’d wonder or ask this man when I eventually met him. I would wonder where he was and what he was doing and if he was thinking about me too. It has always been such a strong desire in my heart to find a wonderful man to marry, someone who would love me and cherish me and appreciate me for the person I am. I always thought I would get married right out of college, just like my parents, so when that plan didn’t work out, I started to get discouraged. A school mate snatched my future husband away from my arms just because she had spiritual powers, all hope was lost to me before i came across the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com) who i confided in, i told him my long story and he helped me regain back my lover with his prayers which is now my husband today. if you have any problem email the help doctor (prayerstosaverelationship@yahoo.com).k

  • She Codes

    This is a fabulous blog post. I’ve noticed that celebrity, power, and political access do offer varying levels of impunity, even for the worst of crimes. Additionally I believe that crimes that are typically perpetrated against women and girls (peeping tom, rape, domestic violence, molestation) are often greeted with relative malaise from police departments and prosecutors, with lower sentences if it even makes it to trial. Rapes and molestation charges often get dropped as part of plea deals. Whereas crimes that are gender neutral or against men (robbery, assault, identity theft) are treated with great interest and prosecuted heavily. Oh, and the physical assault is only taken seriously with women if she is not related to him and never dated him in the past.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thank you! I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed the post and clearly it served as a catalyst for your precise and persuasive comments. I agree that sexual assault may be prosecuted less frequently. Unfortunately, part of the reason for that is the burden of proof; there are usually only two witnesses to the crime—the victim and the defendant. Defendants can say the victim was raped, but not by him or he can argue that the sex was consensual.

      Additionally, prosecutors have broad discretion in determining whether there is enough evidence to charge the perpetrator. There are no legislative or judicial guidelines about charging, and a decision not to file charges ordinarily is immune from review. This is particularly critical in cases in which the credibility of the victim is a potentially important issue, such as sexual assault cases. The victim is on trial because he/she must define in great detail the assault and that the person who committed said violation was indeed the defendant.

  • Nancy Krystofik

    Is it possible the only reason Josh’s story came out is because he abused a girl outside his family? I bet Jim Bob and Michele would of never of reported it, until he did this to someone other than his sisters. Is the identity of this outside victim known? Will Josh be prosecuted at this time, or is this all water under the bridge?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Someone asked the court to expunge – destroy – the report because she did not want her name leaked. The court obliged but in doing so, the press caught wind of the allegations made against Josh in that 2006 report. Reportedly,no charges were pursued in the end as the statute of limitations had by that point run out. Josh will not be prosecuted however a victim could file a civil suit. In the court of public opinion, Josh has been tried and convicted. Who knows whether he will be able to secure new employment and whether he will be investigated by Child Protective Services for his relationship with his own brood. This isn’t over for Josh even though he was never tried in the criminal justice system.

      • Nancy Krystofik

        Thank you Stacey for answering my question. Do you think the TV shows will be cancelled permanently? i think it will be, and all spin-off shows they have in the making will also be a no go. This will hit them all real hard financially, especially the newly married ones.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Hi Nancy. You are very welcome. I think we will get our answer about the future of “19 Kids and Counting” Wednesday, June 3, when Jim Bob and Michelle appear on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” They might be there to do more damage control and/or make an announcement. It’s a good question: Can the Duggars survive a molestation scandal? Memories may be short in TV land but when the talent (think Charlie Sheen) goes off the deep end the network execs usually pull the plug because sponsors and advertisers won’t put the cash behind the show.

  • Dane

    Interesting the stoning going on here.

  • Cheryl55

    That question is EASILY answered…. the VICTIMS parents did NOT want to prosecute and they WANTED it to end and to NEVER be revealed!! Yet, the blood thirsty media and political scum have Victimized these children ALL over again… by ILLEGALLY making public a SEALED JUVENILE record and NOW putting NAMES out there!! I seriously hope ALL of those including the Chief of police, her lawyer, yahoo and the author of this RAG gets sued and have criminal charges filed by the Duggar’s … that would be justice SERVED. While Josh Duggar’s actions are as he said inexcusable… there is NO EXCUSE and he gave NONE.. He has spent his life trying to overcome his WRONGS and his victims have FORGIVEN him… so that should have been the END of the story. In this society people will not give up until they are either jailed or made to pay through the teeth.. and that is exactly what needs to be done here. Juveniles in this Country are protected BY LAW and by not standing by that EVERY juvenile victim runs the risk of being exploited for their tragic story by money hungry scum