'19 Kids': State Trooper Denies Jim Bob Duggar's Story About 2006 Police Report
State trooper Joseph Hutchens told In Touch Magazine that Jim Bob Duggar reported to police that his son Josh molested one girl, not five.
The state trooper who was first notified by Jim Bob Duggar in 2006 about his son Josh's alleged sexual molestation of five girls is denying the 19 Kids and Counting patriarch's story.
In a recent interview, former state trooper Joseph Hutchens told In Touch that Jim Bob informed him of only one incident of molestation committed by Josh. According to the 2006 police report, Jim Bob told Springdale police that he took Josh to Hutchens and "admitted to Hutchens what [Josh, redacted] had done." The police report names five victims, including Josh's sisters.
Hutchens said that he was told by both father and son that "Josh had inappropriately touched [redacted] during the time she was asleep. He said he touched her through her clothing and he said it only happened one time."
Because Hutchens was told the sexual molestation only occurred once, he says he decided not to report Josh to the abuse hotline. "I did what I thought was right and obviously it wasn’t," Hutchens said. "If I had to do it over again, I would have told him immediately, 'I am going to call the hotline' and contacted the trooper that worked those cases and have a full report made. I thought I could handle it myself."
Hutchens' decision not to report the 2002 abuse, or launch any kind of investigation, allowed the three-year statute of limitations to expire. So, when the allegations resurfaced in 2006, criminal charges against Josh couldn't be filed.
In an unrelated but eerily coincidental case, Hutchens is currently serving 56 years in prison for possessing child porn. He admitted to InTouch that his "reputation is shot."
"I have lost a lot of sleep over [the Duggar case]. I am a Christian myself and I worry that something else may have happened," Hutchens said, adding, "I would be responsible for it, in my opinion, by not reporting it. The young girl should have been my first priority."
On May 21, Josh released a statement on Facebook addressing the allegations: "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. 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," Duggar continued, "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. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption."