These days, when you see a headline about Josh Duggar, it’s almost certain to center around his upcoming child pornography trial.
But believe it or not, that’s not the only current court case that addresses the issue of Josh’s long history of predatory behavior.
The very first major Duggar scandal is making news again this week thanks to developments in a civil case involving Josh and several of his sisters.
As you may recall, Josh molested five girls while he was still in his teens.
Four of the victims were his sisters, and the fifth an unidentified family babysitter.
The Duggars managed to keep these incidents under wraps for years, but they came to light in 2015 thanks to a FOIA request filed by In Touch.
Having obtained police records pertaining to the incident, the tabloid reported not only that Josh was a serial molester, but also that his parents assisted him in avoiding prosecution for his crimes.
By the time In Touch reported on the attacks, the statute of limitations had expired, and Josh was immune from prosecution.
At first, it looked as though the report would be the Duggar family’s undoing.
TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting but then the network brought the Duggars back with the spinoff series Counting On, on the condition that they never invite Josh to appear on camera.
So the rest of the Duggars emerged more or less unscathed, but they were still angry about the manner in which the situation unfolded.
But surprisingly, a lawsuit filed by four of Josh’s sisters — Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna Duggar — is not targeted at Josh but at the Springdale and Washington County police departments, whom they claim improperly released redacted police investigation documents to In Touch.
The sisters filed suit back in 2017, but the case has yet to be resolved.
The situation made headlines again this week thanks to a recent filing from the girls’ lawyers in response to a motion to dismiss that was previously filed by the defendants.
According to Arkansas Online, an attorney for Josh’s victims argued this week that the motion to dismiss their suit is “nothing more than a backdoor attempt to relitigate an earlier ruling the remaining defendants lost.”
Several defendants have been dropped by the case, but the motion to dismiss was filed on behalf of Maj. Rick Hoyt of the Washington County sheriff’s office; Ernest Cate, Springdale city attorney; and former Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley.
It’s possible that the motion was filed in the hope that the Duggars have had enough bad publicity due to Josh’s recent arrest, but officially, there is no connection between the two trials.
It’s unclear when the sisters’ case will go to court, but it sounds like the police and sheriff’s departments have no interest in reaching a settlement.
As for Josh, he’s set to appear in court on November 29 for the beginning of his child pornography trial.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years behind bars.
We’ll have further information on these developing stories as more information becomes available.
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