Josh Duggar of the TLC hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting was named in a police report as the “alleged offender” in an underage sexual abuse probe, In Touch magazine is reporting exclusively.
The charge being pursued while Josh was a minor was sexual assault in the fourth degree, multiple sources who have seen the police report and are familiar with the case told In Touch. According to the report, Josh was brought into the Arkansas State Police by his father, Jim Bob, who said he caught him leaving a young girl’s bedroom and “learned something inappropriate happened,” one source said.
Josh and his wife, Anna. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
A bizarre turn of events prevented police and prosecutors from finishing their investigation and possibly prosecuting. The state trooper who originally took the report about Josh shortly before 2005 never followed up. That state trooper was later convicted on child pornography charges and is serving a 56-year prison sentence.
When the state trooper ran into trouble, someone from the Arkansas State Police alerted the Child Abuse Hotline about the Duggar situation that had been sitting inactive. That’s when the Crimes Against Children Division and Springdale Police Department got involved. By then the three-year statute of limitations had passed and it would not have been possible to pursue prosecution of Josh if the allegations warranted, so the investigation was discontinued. “A technicality prevented any further action,” a source familiar with the case told In Touch. “That’s been the biggest regret in all of this.” (The statute of limitations has since been lengthened.)
Sgt. Darrel Hignite — identified by multiple sources as the officer who led the investigation into the allegations about Josh — told In Touch: “I can’t comment or discuss [this case] because of the sensitive nature and because it involved a juvenile.”
The Duggar family. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Rumors about Josh have swirled for years, but In Touch’s investigation has uncovered the secret he has been hiding. “I saw and read the report and it clearly stated that Jim Bob brought his son Josh into the Arkansas State Police and spoke to a state trooper about Josh’s involvement in alleged inappropriate touching with a minor,” one source told In Touch.
The first report was filed shortly before 2005. Josh and his wife, Anna, have three children and live in Washington, D.C., where he is a lobbyist for the Family Research Council.
For all the latest inside Josh Duggar's shocking past, pick up the new issue of In Touch Weekly, on newsstands tomorrow!