Josh Duggar molestation allegations: A timeline of events
On May 21, 2015, police reports were made public that accuse Josh Duggar, eldest child of 19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, of child molestation. The reports date back to actions that occurred when Josh was 14 years old, and allege that he inappropriately touched five girls who were minors.
"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," Josh, 27, said in a statement posted Thursday on the family's Facebook page. "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."
Here is a time of the alleged events, as first reported by In Touch magazine, all stemming from a 2006 police report:
Jim Bob tells Springdale, Ark. police in 2006 that a female minor told him in 2002 that then-14-year-old Josh had touched her breasts and genitals on multiple occasions while she slept.
Josh admits to Jim Bob that he fondled a minor's breasts while she slept and is allegedly disciplined by his parents. The Duggars do not alert authorities.
Josh is again accused by several female minors of touching their breasts and genitals, often when they slept, and sometimes when they were awake. Jim Bob Duggar meets with church elders and tells them "what was going on." No one, according to In Touch magazine, contacts the police or other law enforcement at that time.
March 17, 2003 - July 17, 2003
Josh is allegedly sent to a Christian program "[that] consisted of hard physical work and counseling." According to In Touch magazine, Michelle Duggar later admits to Springdale police that Josh did not receive counseling and instead had been sent to stay with a family friend. The Duggars tell police that Josh "apologized" to the female minors and that they had "forgiven" him.
When he returns home, Jim Bob and church elders take Josh to meet with then-Arkansas State Trooper Joseph Hutchens, who knew the Duggars personally. Hutchens gives Josh a "very stern talk," according to In Touch magazine, but takes no official action. In 2007, Hutchens is convicted on child pornography charges and is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence.
Sept. 6, 2005
The Duggar family first appears on TV, as a one-hour special entitled 14 Children and Pregnant Again! premieres on Discovery Health Channel.
The first special introduced the world to the 14 Duggar children and followed the family as they prepared for baby No. 15, son Jackson.
A letter is found detailing Josh Duggar's alleged molestation. In Touch magazine reports that "a family friend aware of what had happened had written down in a letter what he knew of [redacted, Josh's] actions...That letter had been placed in a book and had subsequently been forgotten about. Just recently [in 2006] the book had been loaned to someone else with the letter in it and another person discovered the letter."
Three more Duggar specials air on Discovery Health: Raising 16 Children on March 13, 16 Children and Moving In on March 15, and On the Road with 16 Children on June 11. The popularity of these specials eventually pave the way toward the Duggars getting their own TLC series.
Authorities interview some of the alleged minor victims, who tell police "that Josh had touched their breasts and sex organs," according to In Touch magazine.
Dec. 7, 2006
The Oprah Winfrey Show cancels the Duggar family's appearance on her show after receiving a tip about Josh Duggar's molestation allegations via email from an unidentified 61-year-old female.
Harpo Studios, which produces the show, faxes the letter to the Department of Human Services hotline. The report is then opened for investigation, leading to the investigation by police in Springdale, Ark.
Jim Bob refuses to bring Josh in for questioning by police and attempts to hire a lawyer. At least two lawyers "refused to take the case," according to In Touch magazine. "Det. Hignite received a voicemail from Mr. Duggar stating that [redacted] had hired an attorney and would not be coming in for an interview," In Touch magazine quotes from the police report.
Dec. 12, 2006
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are interviewed by the Springdale Police Department, but according to In Touch magazine, no charges are filed because the statute of limitations, then three years, had expired.
Rumors about Josh Duggar surface on an online message board about the family. User "Alice" writes a lengthy comment, leveling multiple accusations at the Duggar family:
Let me tell you something about the precious Duggars that you don't know. First, Michelle hasn't bathed her younger children in years. It is all left up to the older children. They have children that have never seen the inside of a grocery store. Everything that you have seen on TV is staged. Big Time.
Michelle hasn't cooked a meal in years. Hasn't cleaned house in years. All she does is try to look norman for the TV camera's. Get real. This couple is out for the fame and money that they can get. They receive "Love Offering" from all over the country. They have church services in their home when it is to their advantage. They get paid for that.
"Alice" also details her account of the Duggars' scrapped appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In January, the whole family went to Chicago and taped Oprah Winfrey show. Oprah wined and dined them for one week. You know that had to cost some pretty pennies. As you may have noticed, that show never aired and it never will. Oprah was informed that Josh, the oldest son, had been molesting his sisters. Yes, this is the truth. Oprah turned them over to the Arkansas State Police Child Protection Agency and the Washington County Child Protection Agency....They have to report to Arkansas Department of Human Services every six months.. They have lied and lied about their son to protect him at their daughters expense. For some unknown reason the boy is still in the home with the girls. God only know if this is still going on. In my eyes he is a CHILD MOLESTOR. HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE HOME. What kind of parents cover up for one child and hurt the others. I do not believe that this is what God has in mind for them. Frauding the American people and taking their money and living off of it.
Sept. 26, 2008
Josh marries Anna Keller. Anna admits in her May 21, 2015 statement about the allegations that Josh came clean about "his past teenage mistakes" with her and her parents when the couple first began courting.
Sept. 29, 2008
17 Kids and Counting, which would eventually become 19 Kids, premieres on TLC.
Oct. 8, 2009
Anna gives birth to the couple's first child, Mackynzie Renee Duggar.
June 15, 2011
Josh and Anna's second child and first son, Michael James Duggar, is born.
Josh is hired as the executive director of FRC Action, the political action arm of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group. He moves with his wife and children to Washington, D.C.
June 2, 2013
Josh and Anna's third child, Marcus Anthony Duggar, is born.
Sept. 2, 2014
The episode of 19 Kids and Counting which focuses on Jill Duggar's wedding to Derick Dillard averages a series-best 3.29 million viewers, lifting TLC to No. 1 on the night among cable networks in all key female demographics.
Dec. 2, 2014
Josh and Anna announce that they are expecting a fourth child, a baby girl due in July 2015.
May 21, 2015
In Touch magazine publishes redacted police reports detailing Josh Duggar's sexual molestation allegations. Josh Duggar, wife Anna, and parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar all issue statements about the reports. Josh's statement says, in part, that he "acted inexcusably." He resigns from his position as executive director of FRC Action.
May 22, 2015
TLC pulls 19 Kids and Counting from its programming schedule.
Late May 2015
Advertisers like General Mills, Walgreens, Payless, and Choice Hotels drop 19 Kids and Counting.
May 27, 2015
Joseph Hutchens, the former Arkansas state trooper who gave Josh a "very stern talk" in 2003, gives an interview from prison, where he is serving 56 years on child pornography charges. Hutchens spoke to a representative from a local law firm at the request of In Touch magazine.
"I did what I thought was right and obviously it wasn't," Hutchens said of his decision to take no action against Josh in 2003. "If I had to do it over again, I would have told him immediately I am going to call the hotline and contacted the trooper that worked those cases and have a full report made. I thought I could handle it myself."
Hutchens blames his inaction in part on his claim that Jim Bob Duggar only told him of one incident of molestation involving Josh and one minor, even though "at this point, there were five victims and multiple molestations by Josh," In Touch magazine reports.