True Crime: Here Is Josh Duggar's Long Timeline Of Depravity

by Kristen Mae
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy and Washington County Sheriff’s Office/D Dipasupil/Getty

I never cared enough about the Duggars to form much of an opinion on them. But when news came out back in 2015 about the Duggars’ oldest kid, Josh, having sexually assaulted five young girls when he was a teenager, four of whom were his own sisters, my ears perked up. I am also a survivor of childhood sexual assault by an older teen family member.

The case involving Josh Duggar was also of interest to me because of the glaring hypocrisy. An ultra conservative family who supposedly upholds Biblical Christian values somehow produced this child-molesting monster? Aren’t they supposed to hold themselves to a higher standard?

Of course, no one is immune to depravity no matter what belief system they subscribe to, and yet the hypocrisy still feels more profound when it comes from someone who is perched upon their high horse and defining morality for the rest of us. The Duggars have been clear about their opposition to gay marriage and birth control. Michelle Duggar publicly announced in an interview with “Today” that wives should always submit to their husbands’ physical demands. Josh Duggar himself was executive director of the Family Research Council’s legislative action branch. The FRC is emphatically anti-LGBT and anti-abortion. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies it as a hate group.

And now Josh Duggar has been arrested for having child porn on his computer. How did he get to this place of basically having no repercussions for his criminal behavior until now? Why was he allowed to hold positions of power and be around so many children even after those near him knew what he was capable of? Let’s take a look at how the events have unfolded.


This is a time period during which Josh admits to having “inappropriately touched” five young girls, four of whom were his sisters. Josh would have been 14-15 years old at the time. When the Duggar parents learned of their oldest son’s behavior, they resolved to handle the matter privately and not report the incidents to police.

March 17, 2003 to July 17, 2003

Josh attends a kind of religious rehab center called the Institute in Basic Life Principles Training Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to their website, the facility aims to “strengthen individuals and families through sound Biblical teachings and character development opportunities and to demonstrate Christ’s love through serving.”

The Institute has been investigated by local Child Protective Services investigation on allegations of maltreatment, and in 2014, founder Bill Gothard resigned from his position at the institute after being accused of sexually harassing or assaulting 34 women. Gothard also ran the Advanced Training Institute, a homeschooling program based on Bible teachings and from which many “ex-vangelicals” come. ATI provides detailed guidance on how to manage “sexual indiscretions” among family members, including specifically what to do in the event “an older brother was guilty of sexually abusing younger ones in his family.” The guidelines also encourage adherents to handle such matters discreetly, warning against “the damage to the younger children, the ridicule to the cause of Christ, the shame of detailed publicity, and the scars to the life and reputation of the boy.”

December 2006

Police investigate and official reports are filed. Josh is 18.

September 26, 2008

Josh marries Anna Keller.


Josh Duggar becomes executive director of the Family Research Council’s legislative action branch.

February 2013 – May of 2015

Kris Connor/Getty

Getty Images

At the same time Josh Duggar assumed a powerful role at the Family Research Council, actively lobbying against same-sex marriage, he was apparently active on Ashley Madison, a website designed to facilitate cheating on your spouse.

It’s the hypocrisy for me.

A data hack of Ashley Madison’s servers allowed the public to see that someone using a credit card with the name Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address matching his grandmother’s home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a home frequently seen on the Duggar’s long-running TV show, paid a total of $986.76 to the site.

Data from the hack showed that Josh was apparently into “Experimenting with Sex Toys,” One-Night Stands,” “Good With Your Hands,” “Bubble Bath for 2,” “Someone I Can Teach,” and “Someone Who Can Teach Me,” among other things. As far as turn-ons, Josh seemed unable to make up his mind: the data showed he had selected “Stylish/Classy” and “Casual Jeans/T-shirt Type,” “Tall Height” and “Short Height,” “Long Hair” and “Short Hair,” “Girl Next Door” and “Naughty Girl,” “Relaxed and Easy Going” and “Aggressive/Take Charge Nature,” and “Average Sex Drive” and “High Sex Drive.”


July 2014

A second Ashley Madison account is created, apparently linked to his home in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

May 20, 2015

The 2006 police report is obtained and published by In Touch Magazine. Josh Duggar’s parents complained that police had mishandled his records, even saying the records were released “illegally,” citing the age of the children involved. Ernest B. Cate, the city attorney in Springdale, Arkansas, confirmed the city was within its rights to release Josh Duggar’s records. Duggar was 18 at the time the report was filed, and any names of minors, including their pronouns, were redacted from the report according to Arkansas law.

May 21, 2015

Josh Duggar resigns from the position at the Family Research Council after admitting to molesting young girls as a teenager, four of whom were his sisters.

August 20, 2015

The Duggar family releases a statement from Josh on their personal website. Josh confesses he’s “the biggest hypocrite ever.” He admits he cheated on his wife and says he has developed a “secret addiction” to pornography.

Interestingly, the statement was edited after having been published, the family or whoever was managing the website editing out the line “The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, in my heart I had allowed Satan to build a fortress that no one knew about,” replacing it with “The last few years, while publicly stating I was fighting against immorality in our country, I was hiding my own personal failings.”

Perhaps someone advised Josh to take some fucking responsibility for his actions and stop blaming Satan.


Josh’s Arkansas car dealership is raided by Homeland Security. Authorities do not clarify whether Josh is the focus of the investigation.

April 29, 2021

Homeland Security arrests Josh Duggar. There is no information as to what the arrest is about.

April 30, 2021

Josh Duggar pleads not guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography. Authorities report he had over 200 images of child pornography on his computer.


Josh Duggar has been released from jail and awaits trial. He is not allowed to be around minors, including his nieces and nephews, and may only see his own children if his wife Anna is present. If convicted, he could be sentenced for up to 20 years of prison and fines up to $250,000 per count, with a total potential prison sentence of 40 years.

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