Josh Duggar Redeemed?

Josh Duggar Redeemed? May 22, 2015

CN Child Molestation

I didn’t want to weigh in too quickly on the molestation confession by Josh Duggar of TLC’s “19 and Counting”, but now the police report is available. Libby Anne of Love, Joy , Feminism has a good list of things that are not quite right about the way the Duggar family handled the problem. The response of course was to lean heavily on their god.

Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives,” Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle, 48, said in a joint statement. “When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before.

I don’t buy that Josh made “mistakes” molesting girls. He chose to molest girls. To be fair the Duggars did take some real world actions after waiting a year such as turn him in to a family state trooper friend. The result however was just a stern lecture, but no charges. The Duggars actions whether intentional or not kept Josh out of jail. In Arkansas, there is a three year statute of limitations on prosecuting this type of crime.

But Jesus has redeemed him, so he is off the hook right?

I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions,” says Josh. “I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church where youth leaders who were good people but happened to be women were dismissed, but male youth leaders were forgiven and “redeemed” by god. A lot of people buy this rationale that their god can forgive and redeem male leaders, but women they have to maintain their purity or earn scorn. One of my preteen friends was molested during a house cleaning fundraiser by the middle aged youth pastor. The blame was placed on the victim that she seduced him.  He continued as youth pastor and married one of my other teenage friends from the group.

In my experience, with molestation in the church, there is something creepy about the person to begin with.  They don’t get redeemed by their god, and sin no more. Pedophilia isn’t a casual mistake. Predators look for opportunities, and make choices based on a victim’s vulnerability. Children who are insecure and/or unprotected for whatever reason are singled out.  Invoking god afterwards, has always been a way to get trust they didn’t earn. I can’t be as quick to forgive and trust as they imagine their god is.

Please note: molestation is not the same as childhood exploration that went too far. Those things are not uninvited like molestation is.

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  • Edward Gemmer

    As someone who works with juveniles who have committed/been the victim of ex crimes, I would throw a few things out there.

    1) There is no treatment program that has evidenced any results when it comes to juveniles committing sex crimes.

    2) Contacting the authorities is not a wonderful solution. While they can connect you to services, they can also lead to charges, probation, prison, and registration as a sex offender as well as longterm placement away from the family. Authorities make terrible decisions too (see Tamir Rice).

    3) There is no evidence that sex crimes committed as a juvenile will lead to that person committing sex crimes as an adult.

    • 3) There is no evidence that sex crimes committed as a juvenile will lead to that person committing sex crimes as an adult.

      That is not so. This info may be of use to you in your profession.

      Prospective National Youth Sample That Included Juveniles Who Commit Sexual Offenses

      The National Youth Survey is an ongoing longitudinal study that began in 1976. The study has followed over time a nationally representative sample of 1,725 youth who were ages 11-17 in 1976, surveying them about their behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs regarding various topics, including violence and offending. Members of the original study sample are now adults, and both they and their family members have been surveyed in recent waves of the study; hence, the study is now called the National Youth Survey Family Study.

      In the 1992 survey wave (the latest for which relevant sexual offending data were collected), 6 percent of the sample reported having committed a sexual assault(n= 90),which was defined as youth who reported one sexual assault during the initial first three waves of data collection, and 2 percent of the sample reported having committed a serious sexual assault(n= 41), which was defined as youth who reported two or more sexual assaults during the same timeframe. In addition, 70 percent of those acknowledging a sexual offense reported the onset to have been prior to age 18. It should be noted that only 3 percent of the sexual assaulters, as defined above, reported being arrested for the crime, while 10 percent of the serious sexual assaulters, as defined above, reported being arrested. In terms of recidivism, 58 percent of those youth committing a sexual assault reported committing a subsequent sexual assault. Of the serious sexual assaulters, 78 percent reported committing another serious sexual assault. The rate of general reoffense was reported at 99 percent for those youth who committed a sexual offense. Finally, in terms of adult sexual assaults, 10 percent of those who committed a sexual assault as a juvenile also committed an adult sexual offense, while 17 percent of those who committed a serious sexual assault as a juvenile also committed an adult sexual offense (Grotpeter & Elliott, 2002).

      While this research provides valuable insights about both the extent of sexual offending within the juvenile population and the recidivism of juveniles who commit sexual offenses, it is important to keep the following in mind when interpreting the study’s findings:

      The data produced in the study are based on self-reports.

      The juveniles who reported sexual reoffenses were generally not subject to juvenile justice system intervention; therefore, the impact of such a mediating factor on sexual recidivism is unknown. http://www.smart.gov/SOMAPI/sec2/ch3_recidivism.html

  • Wow been waiting for something like this.I knew the family couldn’t be as perfect as they seem.No hand holding till engaged,side hugs,kiss not till married. Yes i watch the show thats how i know this stuff. Heard the second to oldest girl wanted out of the show because she had to watch all these kids while her parents were away doing interviews . Good gossip happening now love it. They’re entire life revolves around having babies it seems .I love babies too wish my son and daughter will have one soon,but they are insane about it i don’t mean crazy i mean really insane.It’s there calling i don’t know.That is what they think Oh love you Aaron .

  • Edward Gemmer

    @ lilandra,

    From your link:

    “Recidivism rates for juveniles who commit sexual offenses are generally lower than those observed for adult sexual offenders.”

    “A relatively small percentage of juveniles who commit a sexual offense will sexually reoffend as adults.”

    “The recidivism research suggests that most juveniles do not continue on to commit future juvenile or adult sexual offenses.”

  • This is under Things to Consider from the link:

    Recidivism rates are not true reoffense rates. As noted above, recidivism rates are typically based on official criminal or juvenile justice records pertaining to an arrest, criminal adjudication or conviction, or commitment or incarceration. These records do not include any of the substantial number of sexual offenses that do not come to the attention of criminal or juvenile justice authorities. For example, Bachman (1998) found that only about one in four rapes or sexual assaults were reported to police, and Tjaden and Thoennes (2006) found that only 19 percent of women and 13 percent of men who were raped since their 18th birthday reported the rape to the police. Child victims report at an even lower rate. Even when a sex crime is reported to police, relatively few are cleared by arrest and even fewer result in a conviction/adjudication or incarceration. In a prospective study of adolescents, for example, Grotpeter and Elliot (2002) found that the rate of arrest for those who reported committing a sexual offense was between 3 and 10 percent, depending on the severity of the sex crime (Grotpeter & Elliott, 2002). Therefore, observed recidivism rates for juveniles who commit sexual offenses likely underrepresent the true incidence of reoffense for this population, particularly for sexual crimes.

    So although there is some data on this and not no data; the study cited focused on juveniles under the supervision of the justice system and there was still some recidivism. Also, the study points out that 80 percent of children don’t report molestation. Therefore there is a large population of juveniles, who aren’t in the system whose numbers aren’t accounted for. Also, note that most adult offenders offended as teenagers.

  • IDGAF

    I’m sorry, but who gives a shit what the statistics say? Josh Duggar is a known repeat offender, and his parents are responsible for repeatedly covering up that fact (along with their church, at least one police officer, and now at least one judge after the fact). The important question here is not statistically based. The important question is how is there not a prosecutable crime anywhere in any of this? If it can be shown that a crime was committed, and that it was hidden from legal authorities, why isn’t there some variation of obstruction of justice to be utilized?

  • Edward Gemmer

    The important question is how is there not a prosecutable crime anywhere in any of this? If it can be shown that a crime was committed, and that it was hidden from legal authorities, why isn’t there some variation of obstruction of justice to be utilized?

    They told a cop, so it seems unlikely they could be charged with hiding anything. There is such a thing as mandatory reporters of child abuse, but they aren’t mandatory reporters.

  • IDGAF

    A cop (who I mentioned above as being complicit) who is now in jail for child pornography and was a friend of the family (a big red flag there that I’m not addressing). Cops can be charged with obstruction just like the rest of us. Yes I know what a mandatory reporter is (such as the elders of the church who were informed even before Officer Child Porn). I haven’t even brought up the “counselors” (home remodelers). They went after those Penn State officials, why not do it for this? Oh right, it’s Arkansas. In addition to that, with all we know now about abuse and its victims, if your’e going to arbitrarily decide on a reasonable time limit for charges being brought, what exactly makes you settle on three years? Many people don’t remember being abused for three to four times that time span for reasons of trauma. So a perp just needs to make sure the victim is extra traumatized, just to be safe. As for you, well, I’ve seen your comments around and I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t engage with you (for triggering reasons rather than intimidation) but you’ve caught me on a bad fucking day and you’ll get what you give from here.

    • Edward Gemmer

      I’m not trying to insult you. Legally, I don’t see a basis for charges here. I don’t know Arkansas’ exact law when it comes to mandatory reporters – I guess there could be some, though not his parents.

  • Pingback: #TLC – Cancel the Duggars Immediately: Links to Horrifying News and Incisive Opinion()

  • IDGAF

    Are you dense or just being obtuse? I am lamenting that there seems to be no actionable legal issue here even though every single person involved should be serving time over this. The fact that technically, there are not charges that can be filed here is a far cry from saying that there are no criminals. If you’re aiming for the Michael Nugent defense, I’m just going to ignore you. If you’re focussed on sparing his family, don’t worry I’m sure they’re safe (although your motivations might require examination). Any other straw men you care to throw up?

  • Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    IDGAF He’s both dense and obtuse, and a known slymepitter.

  • reynoldhall

    Here is Ray Comfort’s reaction to the Duggar’s show being cancelled:

    https://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/ray-comfort-threatens-to-stop-watching-tlc-after-network-drops-duggars/

    This is the problem with people who have more sympathy for the accused than for the victim. Here is an example:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2014/03/11/guest-post-god-is-done-with-you-pensacola-christian-college-and-sexual-violence/

  • Ichthyic

    They told a cop, so it seems unlikely they could be charged with hiding anything.

    they told a cop… 3 years after the fact.

    you’re in denial.

  • IDGAF

    He’s buggered off, so he has. I thought those guys were usually more persistent.

    • Edward Gemmer

      Lol you’re goofy. I thought you asked a legal question, and you clarified that you did not.

      Does it matter they told a cop three years later, or never? Probably not. There is no duty to report child abuse unless you are a mandatory reporter. I suppose there could be some sort child neglect or endangerment possible, depending on how the statute was written and how aggressive prosecutors would want to be. Still, there is a slippery slope there. For example, if two brothers got into a fight, should the parents report it to the police? Regardless, unless the parent was the one doing the abusing, those are usually misdemeanors.

      • IDGAF

        So let me get this straight…you consider siblings fighting (and actively participating in the fight, thereby at least implying consent) to be legally equivalent to molestation? Also, parents knowingly hiding abuse from legal authorities is pretty much the definition of neglect and endangerment. No slippery slope necessary, false equivalencies aside. In addition, I find it difficult to believe that Josh is repeat offender, the cop they spoke to is an illegal porn purveyor and there is no connection to be made here. That’s the guy that Jim Bob feels comfortable talking to (and conspiring with not to publicize the events)? And now this extra bit about the CPS monitoring Josh as well until he sued them out of it. It’s like making your way through a sewer with only a giant fan to clear your way. My more pertinent question for the time being is this: Why are you so adamantly defending the legality of the Duggars’ actions? You must be trolling, right? You can’t possibly support the neglecting of child abuse? You wouldn’t have some kind of hidden agenda here, like desiring to deflect the severity of your own actions? Seriously, no one usually gives a shit when sex offenders (much less child molesters) get harsher sentences or get fucked out of jobs or housing. Why is this your hill to stand on? One last note, you claim I’m not asking a legal questions then continue with legal justifications which leads me to believe you don’t really want to discuss anything but derail into dead end red herrings. And I had to call you out after a week of absence to get even that.

        • Edward Gemmer

          So let me get this straight…you consider siblings fighting (and actively participating in the fight, thereby at least implying consent) to be legally equivalent to molestation?

          It is not the legal equivalent of molestation. My question is what is the standard to hold a parent responsible for not reporting their child’s abuse? “Abuse” is a fuzzy word – if two kids are fighting and one gets the better of the other, is that “abuse” that needs to be reported? I haven’t look at all the details around the Duggar’s, but my assumption is he was 14 and the victims were much younger. What if he was ten? What if the victims were ten? Or 14? Where do we draw lines on what needs to be reported to the authorities?

          Why are you so adamantly defending the legality of the Duggars’ actions? You must be trolling, right?

          No.

          Seriously, no one usually gives a shit when sex offenders (much less child molesters) get harsher sentences or get fucked out of jobs or housing.

          Truth. No one usually gives a shit about child molesters. No one usually gives a shit about a lot of types of people, which is why we find those people generally shit on. Regardless, the conduct here doesn’t meet the clinical definition of pedophilia, which is something not well known but worth spreading around. Facts, right? It’s not correct to say that Duggar is a pedophile. To what extent do we punish someone for things they did as a young teenager? Always a good question.

          • IDGAF

            Just to be clear, this is your second comment in a row that you start out admitting to using straw man arguments and then immediately proceed to continue said arguments. For the last time, my original question was intended to discuss why there seems to be no such offense (or at least no one cares to look into it) to cover instances of known crime cover-up concerning this incident. Also for the last time, deconstructing your ridiculous dead end avoidance techniques, to wit:

            “It is not the legal equivalent of molestation. My question is what is the standard to hold a parent responsible for not reporting their child’s abuse? “Abuse” is a fuzzy word – if two kids are fighting and one gets the better of the other, is that “abuse” that needs to be reported? I haven’t look at all the details around the Duggar’s, but my assumption is he was 14 and the victims were much younger. What if he was ten? What if the victims were ten? Or 14? Where do we draw lines on what needs to be reported to the authorities?”

            Your first sentence reveals your whole tactic as time-wasting before you’ve even made your point, seeing as what we’re talking about is not the definition of some hypothetical abuse but known, admitted molestation and neglect and known, admitted withholding of knowledge concerning said molestation and neglect by several parties (just to fully indulge you, abuse is NOT a fuzzy word, it is a strictly defined legal term that you can look up yourself). Furthermore, you assume? If you’re so concerned about how old Josh Duggar was, you might bother to look up the particulars before you go spouting off stupid shit (he was caught more than once, so your whole line of defense is nothing but bluster here before we even get to things like age difference, christian patriarchy or legal adult for criminal prosecution purposes territory).

            Then this gem:

            “Why are you so adamantly defending the legality of the Duggars’ actions? You must be trolling, right?

            No.”

            Why bother quoting me if you’re not going to answer the whole quote? Why not just quote the second question? Why draw attention to the fact that you’re not really answering me? You’re not very good at this are you? Also, if I take you at face value that you’re not trolling, does that mean that you genuinely believe the Duggars’ have done no wrong?

            And finally, the magnum opus:

            “Regardless, the conduct here doesn’t meet the clinical definition of pedophilia, which is something not well known but worth spreading around. Facts, right? It’s not correct to say that Duggar is a pedophile. To what extent do we punish someone for things they did as a young teenager? Always a good question.”

            So first, you admit to making assumptions then move directly to clinical definitions? And for a term that hasn’t been used until you just did? Personally I don’t care if he’s attracted to children, I DO care that he’s a known, admitted and unpunished child molester. I also care that his parents, at least one police officer (now in prison on illegal porn charges), and the church elders (some of those mandatory reporters you kept talking about previously) all withheld this information. Facts, right? FACTS, RIGHT? As a matter of FACT it is exactly correct to call Josh Duggar a pedophile even though I hadn’t explicitly done so until right now. To what extent should we punish young teenagers who REPEATEDLY molest young girls even after being “disciplined” and sent to “counseling?” Always a good question, for a jury.

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/05/28/timeline-josh-duggar-19-kids-and-counting-tlc-sex-abuse-scandal/28066229/

            Facts, right?

  • Letter to Editorial Board of Skeptic magazine

    On February 7, 2015, I started the topic “Biological Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” on the Skeptics Society Forum to explain why an article (“Entropy and evolution”) published by the American Journal of Physics in 2008 undermines the integrity of science in the United States. On May 28, 2015, the administrator blocked me from commenting on this topic.

    In my opinion, this action replicates the misconduct of my congressman Yvette Clarke (NY, 9th district). I submitted documentation to Clarke’s office explaining why the article was absurd. I was told there would be an investigation, but have not been told what the results of that investigation are or what happened to the documentation. My accusation against Clarke and the Skeptics Society is that you collaborating in covering up the AJP’s mistake. My correspondence with the Skeptics Society and Congressman Clarke are at http://www.pseudoscience123.com.

    There is in the United States a culture war about the teaching of evolution. In my opinion, both sides are misguided. One side lacks an understanding of the scientific method, and the other side lacks an understanding of religious faith. The AJP article singles out a person who believes in the Bible for criticism. The absurdity of the AJP article makes the person of faith look like a paragon of reason. The article disgraces every physicist in the United States, and I can understand the desire to keep this scandal from the public. If the AJP takes corrective action, it will become a news item.

    The United States is a democracy, and the public has a right to know the truth.

    Very truly yours,

    David Roemer

    347-417-4703

  • Ichthyic

    David, I think you many have some issues you need to address.

    your many MANY posts and letters are looking very, um… stalky.

    here’s the kind of problem with you that I see, from an example in your own cited webpage:

    I have spent some time with your work but am not able to make an informed comment. I do sometimes testify as an expert in court. But my rate is $400/hr portal to portal. I doubt that you can afford a day of my time.

    Prof. Richardson’s response to my question gave me the confirmation I needed

    uh, no, Richardson basically said he would say whatever you wanted him to say, provided you paid him what he’s asking.

    that’s not confirmation you are correct, and your interpretation that it is so is flawed.

    this is just one tiny example out of many.

    you should seriously think about bouncing this off of someone who can rightly evaluate whether you are actually approaching this from a healthy perspective.

    do you know anyone who can do that for you?

  • Ichthyic

    places you’ve cited, like skeptics forum… do you recall the response there?

    here, I’ll help you:

    The article has already been defended, not that it needed to be. You obsession with it seems bizarre and ridiculous.

    yes, for several YEARS now, your behavior has really seemed to border on obsessive compulsive. I say this, because this is not even the first time I have noticed it, and I’m not the only one, but one of many.

    it’s not a big deal, really, but your life is slipping away from you slowly but surely. don’t let it. you have a choice.

  • John Thimakis

    No one has ever adequately explained to me how God’s forgiveness works.

    What is the difference between God forgiving you and forgiving yourself?

    How can we tell one from the other?