Disgraced former state trooper to whom Josh Duggar confessed attempted suicide in 2010

Joseph T. Hutchens is currently serving 56 years in prison on child pornography charges

By Scott Eric Kaufman
June 2, 2015 4:37PM (UTC)
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(Reuters/Brian Frank)

According to documents obtained by Radar Online, the former state trooper at the center of the Duggar family scandal attempted suicide in 2010 after being detained for a second time on child pornography charges.

Joseph T. Hutchens is partially responsible for allowing Josh Duggar escape justice for molesting five young girls, including two of his sisters, because he declined to act when Jim Bob Duggar brought the molestation to his attention. Hutchens later claimed that Jim Bob only told him about one molestation incident, and if he had known about the others, he would have reported Josh.

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On April 6, 2010 -- seven years after his involvement with the Duggars -- he was found "lying on the floor of [his] cell, covered in blood and in the fetal position." He initially told medical personnel that he had fallen off his bunk, but prison officials later found a suicide note in which he quoted biblical verses about forgiveness.

"MY HEAVENLY FATHER, PLEASE FORGIVE ME!" he wrote at the bottom of the first page, after also imploring his daughters to forgive him and "remember the dad you used to know."

Hutchens is currently serving a 56-year sentence on child pornography charges.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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