Josh Duggar to be sued by non-family member he molested: Report

Because the statute of limitations has expired, neither Duggar nor his parents can plead the Fifth

Published July 1, 2015 5:55PM (EDT)

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

According to In Touch, which first broke the molestation story involving the former "19 Kids and Counting" star, one of 27-year-old Josh Duggar's victims who isn't in his immediate family will be filing a civil lawsuit against him.

The anonymous source who told In Touch about the lawsuit added that it could be very damaging not just for Josh, but the entire family, because as a civil proceeding about a crime whose statute of limitations has expired, neither he nor his parents would be allowed to plead the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination.

Being forced to answer uncomfortable questions about when they knew about Josh's behavior -- and after they learned about it, what measures they took to protect his siblings and their friends from him -- could put the future of "19 Kids and Counting" in even greater jeopardy than it already is. TLC already pulled the program from its regular rotation, and has remained noncommittal concerning its eventual return.

Even if it does return, the filing of this lawsuit means that the family could be engaged in a protracted, public legal battle that could have a disastrous effect on its ratings among its core conservative viewership.

Legal experts told In Touch that the victim will be eligible to sue Josh Duggar under Arkansas Code Annotated Section 16-56-130, which stipulates that victims of a sexual assault can bring civil litigation against their attackers whenever they begin to feel the effects of the abuse -- even if that occurs years later.

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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Josh Duggar Lawsuit The Duggar Family