The eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar has admitted to sexually molesting children 12 years ago.
"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably, for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends," Joshua Duggar tells People magazine. "I confessed this to my parents, who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
According to a police report filed in 2006, published on InTouch, five children were sexually assaulted, including some sisters.
"The alleged victims are (four names redacted), who live with their parents, Michelle and Jim Bob (last name redacted)," the police report reads.
Josh Duggar resigned his position at the Family Research Council after the allegations came to light.
"In good faith I cannot allow Family Research Council to be impacted by mistakes I made as a teenager, so I am resigning as Executive Director of FRC Action," Josh writes. "I will continue to pray for the advancements of the causes we believe in and I hope that in the days ahead you will pray for me and Anna as we seek God to discover the next chapter of our lives in His service."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement after Josh's resignation.
"Today Josh Duggar made the decision to resign his position as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years," Perkins says. "Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work. We believe this is the best decision for Josh and his family at this time. We will be praying for everyone involved."
The Duggar family tells People Josh's confession years ago was one of the most difficult times for the large family.
The police report says Jim Bob Duggar reported the incident to elders in his church, who suggested a counseling program for Josh.
Josh's wife, Anna, tells the magazine she was aware of the situation and believes Josh is living according to 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar tell People they hope the revelation of the abuse will cause people to seek God, not turn away.
"We pray that as people watch our lives they see that we are not a perfect family. We have challenges and struggles every day. It is one of the reasons we treasure our faith so much, because God's kindness and goodness and forgiveness are extended to us—even though we are so undeserving. We hope somehow the story of our journey—the good times and the difficult times—cause you to see the kindness of God and learn that He can bring you through anything."
The incident, however, led to Josh's salvation.
"I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions," says Josh. "I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God's grace, mercy and redemption."
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