Josh Duggar confessed three times to sexually assaulting his sisters -- and his parents still did nothing

New reports reveal how far Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar went to cover up their son's abusive behavior

Published June 3, 2015 4:30PM (EDT)

  (Reuters/Brian Frank)
(Reuters/Brian Frank)

Just when it seemed the details of Josh Duggar's admitted sexual assault couldn't get worse, the story has become more horrifying.

On Wednesday, InTouch magazine -- which first broke the story of abuse in the "19 Kids & Counting" family last month -- released additional police reports indicating that Duggar told his father, Jim Bob, on three separate occasions that he had sexually abused his sisters as well as a family friend. Then Jim Bob and his wife, Michelle, waited more than a year to contact the authorities.

The new report, which is less redacted than initial documents, confirms that Duggar was 15 years old when he first molested his five-year-old sister. He also admitted seven separate instances of abuse to his father before he or any of his sisters was taken for professional counseling; InTouch notes that it remains unclear whether Jim Bob and Michelle brought their children for counseling of their own volition, or if intervention was mandated once law enforcement officials did become involved in the sexual assault allegations.

"James [Jim Bob] said that in March of 2002 [redacted, Josh] who had just turned 14, came to him very upset and crying," the police report states. "James said that [redacted, Josh] had told him that he had been sneaking into [redacted, his sisters’] room at night and had been touching [redacted, his sisters] on the breasts and vaginal areas while they were sleeping."

According to the report, Duggar -- now a 27-year-old father of three who recently resigned from a leadership position at the anti-LGBT Family Research Council -- went from sister to sister "in a common room" where all of the girls slept at the time. He also confessed to Jim Bob that he had assaulted one girl while she slept on the couch.

Legal experts reportedly told InTouch that the Duggar parents could have faced six years in prison for failing to report the assaults to the police, but the statute of limitations on the case had expired by the time law enforcement officials first investigated the allegations in 2006. Jim Bob and Michelle eventually took their son to speak with state trooper Joseph Hutchens, who apparently gave the teen offender an unofficial talking-to; the officer is currently serving a 56-year prison sentence for child pornography.

Duggar confirmed the truth of the sexual assault allegations by saying he "acted inexcusably" the same week InTouch published its first report. TLC, which airs the family's reality series "19 Kids & Counting," pulled the show from its lineup in light of the reports, but has yet to announce whether it will remain on the air.

By Jenny Kutner

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