Josh Duggar's Sister Jinger Says She Was 'Living In A Nightmare' When His 2015 Abuse Scandal Went Public
19 Kids and Counting star Josh Duggar's sister Jinger Vuolo is reflecting on her brother's past alleged sex abuse scandal in her new book, The Hope We Hold.
Duggar had been investigated by police regarding allegations that he inappropriately touched five girls who were all minors when he was 14. Due to the statute of limitations, which was three years at the time, no charges were filed against him during the 2006 investigation. The victims reportedly included sisters Jessa and Jill Duggar.
"My brain hadn’t quite caught up to the reality of what had happened in a few short hours," Jinger wrote in an extract, obtained by Entertainment Tonight. "Earlier that day, Dad had gathered my siblings and me to tell us that the worst trial in our family history, a trial we had long since dealt with and made our peace with, was now public knowledge."
Jinger "felt shell-shocked, as if a bomb had exploded" as "intimate details" about her siblings were "splashed across a magazine page and all over the internet for anyone and everyone to read."
"I moved in a daze, living in a nightmare that I wished with all my heart wasn’t real. One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had all been years ago. It had been awful, but we had dealt with it as a family. We’d sought the Lord, took the necessary steps to move toward healing, and offered up our forgiveness. Now that it was out in public, the old wound was open again, raw, painful," she added.
Jinger's husband, Jeremy Vuolo, co-wrote the book and recalled that the family hid "for two weeks at a friend's property."
"Here was a woman in one of the greatest trials of her life, and she wasn’t crushed or unraveled. She was sweet, gracious, and hopeful," he wrote of Jinger. "It was obvious that her confidence was still in Christ."
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At the time, TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting. As the scandal made headlines, Duggar had issued a statement in 2015, saying: "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."
Now, Duggar is facing child pornography charges. As OK! previously reported, the 33-year-old was arrested in Arkansas on Thursday, April 29, and was charged with two counts: receipt and possession of child pornography.
"We are disturbed to hear of the charges against Josh. While this case must go through the legal system, we want to make it clear that we absolutely condemn any form of child abuse and fully support the authorities and judicial process in their pursuit of justice," Jinger and Jeremy said in a statement following Duggar's arrest.
The arrest stems from a 2019 investigation when Duggar allegedly downloaded files depicting child sex abuse on May 14, 15 and 16 of 2019, OK! previously reported. Duggar faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count if convicted.
"Josh Duggar has been charged in a two-count indictment. He has pled not guilty to both charges and we intend to defend this case aggressively and thoroughly. In this country, no one can stop prosecutors from charging a crime. But when you're accused, you can fight back in the courtroom — and that is exactly what Josh intends to do," Duggar's attorneys, Justin Gelfand, Travis W. Story and Greg Payne, said in a statement.