The Duggar family has a reason to celebrate because one of the sexual assault cases against their minister, Bill Gothard has been dismissed. According to Radar, the plaintiffs’ attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case on Feb. 19. The founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles was fighting a $500,000 lawsuit after ten former female members accused him of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and inappropriate touching in January 2016.
The outlet is reporting that the entire case has been dropped. “Plaintiffs’ right to re-file and maintain a second action against said Defendants within one year is expressly reserved,” the court docs explained. The charges against the minister are troubling (to say the least). Three women claimed he sexually abused/harassed them beginning when they were age 13.
Gothard isn’t a stranger to these types of allegations. According to a 2014 lawsuit, he would also “select girls based on how they looked and tell them that it was God’s will for them to come work for him.” Jennifer Spurlock, one of the many women who accused him of alleged harassment, said her abuse also began when she was still a teenager. “Mr. Gothard was just staring right at me, so much so that other girls would say ‘you’re so lucky, he couldn’t take his eyes off of you,’” she explained. “We were referred to as ‘Gothard’s girls.’ People knew. It was actually a privilege.”
Joy Simmons, another person who accused Bill of alleged assault, said the abuse started after she was sent to a counseling center after being abused by another man affiliated with IBLP. “We were isolated. No friends, no way out, no education. We were pretty stuck,” she admitted in 2016. “Gothard said since I didn’t cry out, I was just as guilty as the guy who assaulted me.”
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