NonFamily Sex Abuse Victim Expected to File Civil Lawsuit against Josh Duggar

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Josh Duggar’s (nonfamily) sex abuse victim intends to file lawsuit against him.

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Recent news reports claim that Josh Duggar, son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who was reported to have sexually abused five children as a young teen, will be facing a civil lawsuit filed by the non-related victim. It should be noted that Duggar confessed to the crimes, but the Statute of Limitations had expired, so he was not criminally charged.

There are still many questions surrounding this case. Who knew what and when? What did pastors know? What did they do? How much did his parents know? How did they respond? How was this case handled by people close to the Duggar family? What safeguards were in place? What specific counseling did Josh and the victims receive?

InTouch’s article included this important information which could certainly be helpful for us to understand how this abuse was covered up by people who should have reported:

The shocking development means that Josh and his parents Jim Bob and Michelle could be forced to give depositions and testify about Josh’s molestation scandal. The Duggars likely will have to answer every question as they will not be able to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because the criminal statute of limitations has expired.

While the Statute of Limitations expired for Duggar to be tried criminally, Arkansas has a state law which allows for a civil lawsuit to be filed by victims after the Statute of Limitations have expired, even many years later: 1

6-56-130. Civil actions based on sexual abuse.

(a) Notwithstanding any other statute of limitations or any other provision of law that can be construed to reduce the statutory period set forth in this section, any civil action based on sexual abuse which occurred when the injured person was a minor but is not discovered until after the injured person reaches the age of majority shall be brought within three (3) years from the time of discovery of the sexual abuse by the injured party. (Read more info about the law here: Source)

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This case is especially noteworthy because of the pattern of mishandling of sex abuse we’ve been seeing in the Homeschool Movement, a subculture in which families adhere to such ideologies as Patriarchy, Quiverfull (Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar family has 19 children), emphasis on purity teachings, courtship, etc.  Here are some other notable cases of sexual abuse mishandling, all closely connected to the Homeschool Movement:

  • Bill Gothard, a popular Christian leader was forced to step down from his position at Institute for Basic Life Principles after allegations of sexual grooming by dozens of women. The Duggar family highly respect Mr. Gothard and also used his ATI homeschool curricula for their family. The Duggars are currently scheduled to speak at ATI/IBLP events.
  • The Jackson Family case – Six brothers from a large homeschool family were arrested for allegedly sexually violating their younger sister for 10 years.  Parents, John and Nita Jackson, were also charged for failing to report. Two of the brothers were members of Scott Brown’s  (NCFIC) Hope Bible Church (Scott Brown is a leader in the Homeschool Movement). 
  • A homeschooled girl is sexually abused by a Peninsula Household of Faith Community Church elder’s son, Patrick Rojas (WA state).  This church is primarily homeschool families. Dee of Wartburg Watch covered this story and I later spoke with the mother, Danielle.  Pedophilia and Deception at a Household of Faith Community Church

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Having been involved in the Homeschool Movement for many years (and a homeschool mom for 23 years), I have had a growing concern about abuse victims who have slipped through the cracks because parents and church leaders have failed to report crimes. The pattern I have observed is some parents/church leaders think it is their Christian responsibility to deal with the sins involved, but fail to follow through with their civil responsibilities in reporting crimes.

The Homeschool Movement includes families who are anti-government, and because of this, children who are abused may not get appropriate protection they need. Additionally, these groups tend to be strongly against mental health and so their counseling might consist of only approved Biblical or Nouthetic counseling, if that. Many times victims do not get appropriate counsel by licensed therapists/counselors who are trained to handle sex abuse cases.

I am very sad about this Duggar case and am grieved that some of the victims have been named publicly and did not choose to have their story made public. However, because of Duggar’s celebrity-like status, the handling of Josh Duggar’s case will continue to be in the public spotlight. This is important because the Homeschool Movement must learn from their mistakes and take appropriate measures to protect and defend abused children.

Updated to add this important and recent video of Boz Tchividjian, discussing this case and sex abuse, how to respond appropriately, etc.

29 comments on “NonFamily Sex Abuse Victim Expected to File Civil Lawsuit against Josh Duggar

  1. GOOD. It’s about time there were consequences for this type of behavior.

    When is there going to be a class action lawsuit against Bill Gothard? is what I want to know.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would love to know, too, Dash! I have a feeling that Gothard stayed within that fine line of not going too far – far enough that it was a crime. The emotional and spiritual damage was appalling, however. It is so frustrating to think that he could use his power/influence to control women as he did.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You had to know it wasn’t just in the family. I think it is a huge misconception to assume that because you have heard from two victims that there are only two. Its almost never that way! If they’ve done it once and gotten away with it there will be more. I am not surprised at all by this. I am glad to see this victim/survivor moving forward. Because they were already trying to sweep this away into the past and it never got dealt with appropriately.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Regarding Gothard, hand on the inside of the thigh qualifies as sexual assault, so that might qualify, but Recovering Grace’s timeline ends around 2000. So there might be a problem with statute of limitations.

    Regarding the Duggar case, In Touch has a couple of contradictions. First, Arkansas social services have reopened the investigation (indicating a possibility of criminal charges, but the anonymous source says the Duggars could be compelled to testify because there are no criminal charges. Both cannot be true.

    Second, the article notes counseling provided by the Duggars, but then claims that the victim is suing because she just realized the damage had been done. Again, both of these cannot be true.

    Sorry, but sloppy article by InTouch; anonymous source and two blatant contradictions. I am not going to hold my breath on anything happening with this if the facts are as stated.

    What I am praying for is for both Gothard and the Duggars to “man up” and cover costs of counseling and the like for their victims whether or not a court compels them to do so. Again, not holding my breath for this to happen, obviously, though it would be wonderful if they did.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: » NonFamily Sex Abuse Victim Expected to File Civil Lawsuit against Josh Duggar

  6. Perhaps you or a reader will know, Julie Anne, but because homeschool parents play official roles as teachers, are they therefore considered by law to be “mandatory reporters” of child abuse and neglect, wherever state laws have that mandate in force for “school personnel”?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brad, do you remember the case of the Michigan mom who pulled her children out of public school, homeschooled them, and was later convicted of murdering them (their bodies were discovered in a deep freezer)? State Representative Stephanie Chang was working on a bill so that there would be more safeguards in place and I remember reading the discussion of requiring homeschool parents to be mandatory reporters. It’s not a law, yet in that state.

    The difficulty of homeschooling laws is that each state is different. In some states, parents have very little to do with the government/school district in order to teach their children at home. For example, in my state of WA, all I had to do was file a letter of intent with the school district and have my children tested (standardized tests). In VA, I could file “religious exemption” and never have to deal with the government again.

    The state of Arkansas has a law about mandatory reporters and one would assume it would apply to homeschool parents:

    According to the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, the Child Maltreatment Act in Arkansas states that a school counselor, official or teacher is required to report any “abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation or abandonment of a child” that the become aware of.

    “The Arkansas investigating agency shall make an investigative determination and shall provide notice to the alleged offender that, if the allegation is determined to be true, the offender’s name will be placed in the Child Maltreatment Central Registry,” reads the state law. http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/homeschool-duggars-arkansas-state-sexual-abuse-reporting-law/

    I suspect the Statute of Limitations is up for anyone to file charges against Duggar parents, but maybe they could be added to Josh Duggar’s civil lawsuit??

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  8. One other thing here; reading through the cases,there’s not a lot of evidence that increasing mandatory reporters and mandatory reports would help. All of these cases had multiple mandatory reporters with consistent contacts with the perpetrators and victims, just like the Banita Jacks case, the Mitchelle Blair case in Detroit, the Andrea Yates case in Texas, and the like.

    If you add more mandatory reporters and mandatory checks, you simply increase the load on them without giving them the tools they need to do the job right–you could even worsen the situation. The way out is not increased regulation, but better training for the classes of mandatory reporters we’ve got. You can drive that with law for some, and through insurance for others–I can imagine Church Mutual making that a condition of insurance or of advantageous rates, for example.

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  9. JA said: I would love to know, too, Dash! I have a feeling that Gothard stayed within that fine line of not going too far – far enough that it was a crime. The emotional and spiritual damage was appalling, however. It is so frustrating to think that he could use his power/influence to control women as he did.

    And still does control some, at least. I was recently rebuked by an ATI acquaintance for linking to articles about Duggar, Gothard, the Village Church, and Acts29 on my facebook. I was called “divisive” — and the information about Gothard was called “gossip” even though it was substantial enough to cause him to step down from his position.

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  10. Refugee – I would let loose with a blast furnace at anyone so downright foolish and blinded as to play that “divisive” card. The people like Gothard and others are the divisive ones. Your ATI acquaintance is the divisive one. They like to divide people from the truth. Ask them if they’ve ever read the Bible before and seen the 4,000 airing of dirty laundry that it is. The enemy is the truth is not exposure of ugliness, it’s concealment of it. Your acquaintance is blinded and dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Refugee, just point out WHO investigated the Gothard allegations; none less than Gothard’s long term friend David Gibbs, Jr. I’ve not been privy to the evidence beyond what is on Recovering Grace, but it strikes me that if Gibbs looked at the data and was convinced, the evidence is probably pretty strong.

    And if that doesn’t wake them up, just allow them to separate and pray for them to wake up. I’ve had to do that a time or two. Sometimes people simply don’t catch on.

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  12. In 2 Samuel 7, there is a verse that says that when God’s beloved commits grievous sin, God is not above using the rod of man to bring about justice. It breaks my heart that the Christian homeschooling movement as a whole has not attended to the problems within its own realm — actively working to deny them — so that it is even necessary for the “rod of man” to be of use. God have mercy on us.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I completely support this victim filing a civil case. This takes courage and I applaud her. Each state’s laws are unique. With the criminal statute clock having run out in this state, civil law is the only option for legal justice. I agree with you, JA, legal discovery under oath is incredibly important in finding out who knew what when. This is important for other charges to be brought if anyone is guilty of the crime of sex abuse cover up. Why do people assume that even now all the facts of this case are known? My spidy-sense says otherwise! If victims keep coming forward in this case and other related cases in the homeschooling movement and throughout the Christian church, then maybe we can change the culture that is established in which sex crimes are minimized. Also, add to your list of homeschooling victims our case, a number of the victims on the Sovereign Grace lawsuit also were isolated homeschooling students. I don’t know if this victim reads here but taking this step WILL protect other children from abusers in the future! Your are not just a victim, you are a survivor!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. To those who would endeavor to stop both thought and active opposition by playing the divisiveness card, I would point out that Jesus has no problem with the idea of separating goats from sheep.

    It may be objected that it is not up to us to attempt to separate tares from wheat, but wolves, who actively seek to devour, are in a whole different category than tares (and even goats). The wolf may cry out and complain of divisiveness when s/he is being driven away, but we need not, therefore, consent to the wolf’s unopposed devouring of our Lord’s lambs.

    Although there are doubtless degrees of culpability, every person who attempts to manipulate with charges of divisiveness aligns themselves, not with Jesus, but with every ravenous pack of predatory wolves.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dash, Why can’t Gothard just go away? If he really cared about the young women, he would step back into the private world. He is definately more interested in leaving some type of personal legacy about himself rather than “dying to self” in order promote healing for his victims. When will believers realize God doesn’t need some cult of personality to spread His word?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ann please don’t tempt Us. Trust me I would love to make him go away. I’m good 8/10s of a mile out with the right optic, LOL

    Unfortunately he will probably be public till he croaks and will move up to sucking on young ladies feet before long. The man’s ego allows him to make excuses for anything he does. That will just get worse. When I read that one of his manuals says a woman’s hair should be ” touch-ably soft ” I laughed so hard. Since when is that a biblical principle. If the guy has a hair fetish that’s fine and good. He should have married a woman with long, soft hair that likes being touched. He could buy her Wen by the gallon with all the cash he looted from the guliable christian community, He could brush it every night as a form of Gothard foreplay and have a normal life. Maybe even become a hairstylist, that would have been a positive way to spend his life.

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  17. Wow, that site is flat out bizarre. Here is an 80 year old guy accused on being Mr. Touchy feely and he puts up a site devoted to his self promotion and claims of Rightousness. He never looked at pictures of naked women bla bla bla

    Hey Billy maybe you should have just married a real live, occasionally naked woman and had a normal marital life. Instead you are a scar on the face of our faith.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Exactly, then he could have played footsies and played with her wavy locks. Something is seriously messed when a man who behaves like this then dishes out marital advice.

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  19. Unfortunately he will probably be public till he croaks and will move up to sucking on young ladies feet before long.

    “Pleasures of the Queen”
    That was the title of a painting that showed up at a lot of West Coast SF convention art shows in the early Eighties. Not very well-drawn, it was a pudgy woman wearing only elaborate jewelry and tiara/crown lying on her back with a disturbing expression that can only be called “cackling” while a bearded man dressed only in a loincloth sucks on her foot. Pic must have showed up at every con I was at for five years until artist actually found someone who’d pay money for it or finally gave up.

    I remember it like a train wreck — not enough brain-bleach in the world to get that picture out of my head.

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  20. Dash, Why can’t Gothard just go away?

    But then he’d be just a NOBODY!
    He wouldn’t be FAMOUS!

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  21. Don’t insult the NOBODYs of the world. Most of them are normal, not sexual predators, not narcissistic wackadoos and not undiagnosed sociopaths all wrapped up in one cult leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gothard’s celibacy reminds me of some of stories from the Dark Ages and medieval times (e.g. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People) where people are praised for keeping their celibacy even in marriage. That, and Paul’s warning of people who would tell us to abstain from good gifts God created for our enjoyment. Yuck.

    And I sure wouldn’t trade in my wife for Gothard’s multi-million dollar empire, private plane, and the like.

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  23. Having homeschooled my 11 children since 1980-2014 I thought it time to make a comment. There are many many normal families who choose to teach their children at home who are not a part of all these “groups” of offshoot folks. I do believe most of these families get caught up in these groups just like any other kind. Some folks are caught up in health issues, some folks are into biking, or exercise, or music, or tatoos…..pick a group, right? There are many very normal folks doing this home educating thing that do not join these groupies. My kids are very normal and so are their friends. All but one of my kids are college and plus except one. Her choice as an artist. So…….yes there are nutty things in all areas we find ourselves as humans….just remember we all usually look at the adnormalities around us not the majority of just normals. Just thinking here….

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