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What Jim Bob Duggar Had To Say After Josh Duggar’s Molestation Report Came Up At The Pre-Trial Hearing

(Image credit: TLC)

One month from now, Josh Duggar’s fate will likely be known, as the former reality star is set to be sentenced April 5 after being found guilty on two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography. While Duggar was undergoing his trial following his April 2021 arrest, his sisters were fighting their own battle regarding the release of a previously sealed report in which molestation claims were made about their brother. Josh’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, was asked about that report during his son’s pre-trial hearing, and we now know how he addressed the situation to the court in November 2021. 

Back in 2015, In Touch used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire records involving four of the Duggar sisters (Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth), who as minors, shared claims, about molestation related to Josh Duggar. The release of these reports led to the family’s reality show 19 Kids and Counting getting canceled, and the four Duggar sisters filed a lawsuit in 2017 over the report they thought was sealed. The subsequently fought a years-long court battle until a judge dismissed their case on February 10. 

Jim Bob Duggar was questioned about the infamous molestation report at Josh’s pre-trial hearing, according to unsealed transcripts obtained by The Sun. When prosecutor Carly Marshall asked him what home the family lived in when Josh Duggar had admitted his actions to his father, Jim Bob answered the question, but cut Marshall off twice to add his opinion: 

Johnson Road. I’d like to say, too, that, you know, this was a… something for a young man to come forward… This is a juvenile… It was a juvenile record that was sealed.

Carly Marshall reportedly told the Duggar patriarch at that time to stick to answering the questions. However, it seemed clear he didn’t agree with the information obtained by In Touch being used at all because the records had been sealed. He argued again: 

Right. But you’re taking into consideration this was a sealed case that was expunged by Judge Zimmerman, right?

At that point, the judge apparently intervened and told Jim Bob Duggar that if an objection needed to be made, his lawyer would assert it, and he was again told to answer the questions. The famous father said Josh Duggar came to him two times in regards to “inappropriate touching,” in which his son said he touched four victims “when they were sleeping on the breast over their clothes.”

The older Duggar said he didn’t remember his son telling him that he’d touched the victims’ vaginal areas, which prompted Carly Marshall to show the failed politician the police report from the In Touch article to refresh his memory. He refused to read a paragraph aloud from the police report, saying “I’m not going to do that” and, after being asked to just read to himself, Jim Bob responded:

I did not write the police report. I don’t know what all was put in that. I don’t know who put… you know, I don’t know what the investigator. You will have to bring them in and ask them. It was a very difficult time in our family’s life. When we went to the Child Safety Center, they told us this all would be kept confidential. And for you guys to use a tabloid to bring it back up, it’s very unprofessional.

The unsealing of the 2015 molestation document was the subject of a four-year-long court battle for four of the Duggar sisters and, upon the lawsuit’s recent dismissal, Jill Duggar Dillard had some strong words to convey her disappointment with the ruling:

In the pursuit of justice, the impact on victims, especially child sex victims, should not be an afterthought, and they should not be relegated to collateral damage. Victims need to be supported and protected, not hung out to dry simply because the end justifies the means. They have been blamed, shamed, and bullied into silence for too long, so why are we surprised that perpetrators continue to be emboldened while victims are punished for their voice.

Jill Duggar had left the family’s show Counting On before it was canceled in the aftermath of Josh Duggar’s arrest and admitted that she had distanced herself from some members of her large family. 

Josh Duggar is officially set to be sentenced on April 5. The former 19 Kids and Counting star is facing a prison sentence of up to 20 years on each of the two counts he was convicted on. He could also face up to $250,000 in fines for each count. 

Mom of two and hard-core ’90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.

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