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story.lead_photo.caption Josh Duggar, executive director of FRC Action, speaks in favor the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. - Photo by AP / DANNY JOHNSTON

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas police have destroyed a record outlining a nearly decade-old investigation into reality TV star Josh Duggar, a spokesman said Friday, a day after the 27-year-old resigned his role with a prominent conservative Christian group amid reports about sexual misconduct allegations from when he was a juvenile.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which obtained the offense report before its destruction, reports Duggar was accused of fondling five girls in 2002 and 2003. Duggar issued an apology Thursday on Facebook for unspecified bad behavior as a youth and resigned his role as executive director for FRC Action, the tax-exempt legislative action arm of the Washington-based Family Research Council.

"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," Duggar wrote. "In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."

Duggar appears on the TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting, which stars his family. He is the oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children.

Springdale Police began investigating Duggar in 2006 when officers were alerted to a letter containing the allegations that was found in a book lent by a family friend to someone else.

The report, originally published by tabloid In Touch Weekly, states that a member of Harpo Studios, the producer of Oprah Winfrey's then show, received an email containing the allegations before the family was set to appear in 2006. The tipster warned producers against allowing the Duggars on the show and studio staff members faxed a copy of the email to Arkansas State Police.

Springdale Police spokesman Scott Lewis said Judge Stacey Zimmerman ordered the 2006 offense report destroyed Thursday. Zimmerman didn't return a request for comment Friday.

"The judge ordered us yesterday to expunge that record," Lewis said, adding that similar records are typically kept indefinitely. "As far as the Springdale Police Department is concerned this report doesn't exist."

Neither Duggar nor his father, a former state representative, returned calls seeking comment Friday.

Several Arkansas Republicans have rallied behind the Duggar family, which is still engrained in state politics. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar attended the kickoff event earlier this month for Republican presidential nominee Mike Huckabee, who supported the family in a Facebook post Friday.

"Those who have enjoyed revealing this long ago sins in order to discredit the Duggar family have actually revealed their own insensitive bloodthirst, for there was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed, not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims," Huckabee wrote.

Arkansas Sen. Bart Hester said Josh Duggar, who he has known for about five years, has been open and honest about the incident with wife, family and friends. State Sen. Jon Woods, who has known the Duggar family since 2005, said the family had put the issue behind them.

"It's between the family members and was addressed a long time ago but it's new to the public," Woods said. "The family had time to heal and now the public needs time to heal."

Huckabee voices support for Josh Duggar

By Sara Janak

A day after Josh Duggar confirmed allegations that he molested several underage girls, former Arkansas Gov. and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee publicly voiced his support for Duggar.

“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable,’”Huckabee said Friday in a statement on his Facebook page.

“Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends," Huckabee said in his statement. "Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.”

Huckabee also criticized the “blood-thirsty media” and those “sensationalizing” the story.

“No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story,” he said in his statement.

Duggar, 27, is the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Tontitown, Ark., and stars in TLC’s reality show 19 Kids and Counting.

InTouch magazine first reported the story Tuesday after obtaining a 2006 Springdale Police Department report detailing the allegations.

After the report began circulating, Duggar resigned as director of conservative lobbying group Family Research Council and apologized in a statement.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," he said in his statement.

Gov. Mike Huckabee voiced his support for Josh Duggar on his Facebook page in this post on Friday, May 22, 2015.
Josh Duggar posted a public apology on his family's official Facebook page on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

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Archived Comments

  • BrightBulb
    May 22, 2015 at 3:03 p.m.

    So, how do the Duggar apologists explain these events to the 4 younger sisters who were the victims. Those who "support" the Duggar's also have to explain how they are not ignoring the harm done to the psychological health of the young girls in this clan.

  • KevinsDad
    May 22, 2015 at 4:07 p.m.

    How convenient that Duggar's record was DESTORYED yesterday, May 21, 2015 by an order of a Judge. What in the name of common decency is wrong with the legal system in Arkansas? To expunge a record is to SEAL IT, not destroy the record trail. To destroy a legitimate court record is to tamper with evidence. Perhaps the U.S. Justice Department needs to investigate what else judges in Arkansas have destroyed instead sealed with regard to legal proceedings.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    May 22, 2015 at 4:44 p.m.

    They want to control the US, just Google "Quiverfull" and read a few books on it.

  • MaxCady
    May 22, 2015 at 4:45 p.m.

    I knew at least one of those kids had to be whack. It's just the law of averages.

  • mwilks05091251
    May 22, 2015 at 5:33 p.m.

    I hope every person who comments remembers 'You are always one moment away of your deepest, darkest failure becoming the thing you will be known by.' It is very easy to rank order sin and justify by saying you are 'defending the victims'. I was a victim, not of this but an equally harmful assault. The only way to overcome is to forgive. You'd think if "victims" can do it, those who revel in passing judgment might try. Beyond that, the juvenile record WAS sealed. Someone just conveniently left it in plain sight be be shared to sensationalize, with no care for the children.

  • jubug
    May 22, 2015 at 6:47 p.m.

    legal investigation is called for , just don't think it is legal to destroy, to seal or never release maybe but this is a violation probably paid off by someone $$$$$ to do so... Go on Republicians pick and choose who you excuse.. At least duggar admits to the incident .
    Not judging but I still stick by my first line!

  • JakeTidmore
    May 22, 2015 at 6:51 p.m.

    Max has said it best:

    "Noted: It is not strictly true that this is simply a matter between family members.

    1) Not all of the girls molested were family members.

    2) The case was referred for handling to the Department of Human Services during a time when Duggar ally Mike Huckabee was governor and known to have a lot of influence on DHS actions.

    3) The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has reported the existence of a lawsuit by Duggar against DHS. The record of that suit no longer exists. It is only speculation, but a founded report of molestation (and the Springdale police reports indicates the Duggars admitted molestation had occurred) can land a person on the state's confidential child abuse registry. There is a procedure for appealing such a placement. Whatever treatment Duggar received in a local court as the son of a prominent political figure might be interesting.

    4) Complaints about Duggar have surfaced publicly over the years, yet a national cable TV network continued to air the program.

    5) Just this week, Judge Stacey Zimmerman, took the legally questionable move of acting on an unknown party's motion and ordering the Springdale police to destroy the police report on the matter. The law clearly allows redaction of police records to protect sex crime victims, but not to destroy records of such. Her jurisdiction on this record and her order that the report of a public agency's activity be destroyed are matters lawyers are questioning. The report exists elsewhere. It is hard to believe that courts ultimately would uphold the notion that people can selectively bring about destruction of records such as these if a case has pressed for release of the record by others who retain it.

    6) People aware of Josh Duggar's behavior continue to be unhappy about it. Witness the tip to Oprah in 2006 that finally produced a police investigation long after the fact and the as-yet-unknown events that put the information in the hands of In Touch, which broke the story this week.

    This is not strictly a family matter. It's about the legal and therapeutic issue of whether sex crimes should be handled by a family and their church or law officers. It's about whether a politically connected family got treatment different from that others have received in similar circumstances from police, prosecutor, judge and state agency. It's about Republican politicians circling wagons around a fellow Republican and seemingly dismissing the lasting impact of sexual molestation on victims, whether family members or not. It is also, not incidentally, about reflexive defense of a family that has been prominent in equating homosexuality with perversion after actual molestation within their own home. Family matter? I don't think so. Open and honest? With their allies, maybe. Everyone else? No."

  • carpenterretired
    May 22, 2015 at 8:58 p.m.

    Just republican church people taking care of fellow republican church people a return to traditional moral values like Nixon's missing 18 minutes .

  • ARMind
    May 22, 2015 at 9:20 p.m.

    This is NOT about sin, this is about child molestation, pedophilia and incest. Are you people so deluded that you do not understand that!? I don't care who "God" forgives, the law of the land says that if someone does any of this that they have to be held accountable for their actions. The parents committed a crime by covering up the wrongdoing and Mike Huckabee is just a joke - well, no - every president the US has had covers up crimes all of the time so maybe he is just practicing for the big stuff. Regardless, leave your church and religion out of this. The law was broken multiple times over again and for anyone to negate that fact is inexcusable.

    May 22, 2015 at 9:40 p.m.

    Well, Well, I am sure everyone is so Surprised to Discover how Important it is to have Money, and Very Powerful Friends. Religious People Cover up Things all the time, as everyone knows. I am sure God gave Mike Huckabee a message to use his influence to Stop this in it's tracks. If this was a Poor Man, You can bet he would be in a Cell someplace, and probably a BlackJack would have been used already. Thank God for Big Money.