The Duggar Family Allegedly Knew Josh Duggar Was Sexually Abusing Children Before Their Reality TV Debut
The Duggar family reportedly knew about Josh Duggar's behavior of alleged sexual abuse years before their reality show even aired.
On Thursday (Dec. 9), an Arkansas jury found Josh Duggar guilty on two counts of downloading and possessing child pornography. A former family friend, Bobye Holt, testified that Josh came to her twice and confessed that he sexually abused four girls between the ages of 5 to 12. According to a local news station, she claimed that Josh raped a girl on March 30, 2002, when he was 15.
Though the alleged sexual abuse crimes passed the statute of limitations, U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks argued that Holt's testimony was needed because of the graphic and images of child sexual abuse discovered on Josh's computer.
“The child pornography victims in this case are approximately the same ages as the victims of defendant’s hands-on child-molestation offenses,” Brooks’ order stated. “Accordingly, the prior act evidence is probative of defendant’s sexual interest in underage children and his propensity for exploiting young girls.”
Holt explained to the court that she and her husband, former Arkansas state legislator Jim Holt, acted as Josh's "spiritual advisors." At the time, Josh had been courting their daughter. In 2003, Josh revealed that he sexually abused four girls in a meeting with the Holts and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
“He told us so our oldest daughter would know why the relationship had to end,” Holt said with tears in her eyes, according to BuzzFeed News.
TLC's 19 Kids and Counting first aired in September 2008, five years after the Duggar family's meeting with the Holts, where Josh first allegedly confessed to the child molestation.
During another visit in 2005, Josh allegedly confessed to Holt that he abused a 5-year-old girl. Holt did not reveal the identities of the victims.
In May 2015, In Touch Weekly published a police report in which Josh confessed to abusing four of his younger sisters and an unidentified child.