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Josh Duggar says he regrets sexual abuse

By Marilyn Malara and Danielle Haynes
Josh Duggar says he regrets sexual abuse
Josh Duggar and wife Anna Duggar announced their pregnancy last year; their baby girl is due in July. Screenshot by TLC.com

WASHINGTON, May 21 (UPI) -- Josh Duggar, of 19 Kids and Counting, said he feels regret for molesting five young girls during his early teen years starting in 2002.

The eldest Duggar son released a statement to People on Thursday evening after a police report surfaced making the allegations.

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"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," the 27-year-old said. "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, 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."

According to InTouch, the police report was hidden since 2006 and has been obtained by the magazine through a Freedom of Information Act request. It reads that an unknown caller contacted authorities to report that Duggar inappropriately touched five minors while he was 14.

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The report says that the caller expressed concern that the incidents were never reported to the correct authorities.

The police report continues to say a letter supposedly written by either a victim or a witness of the abuse was found in a borrowed book from the Duggars' church in 2006. It continues that while the Duggars were in Chicago appearing on the Oprah show, a tip about the letter was emailed to Oprah's Harpo Studios and forwarded to the Department of Human Services hotline, thus commencing the investigation.

Unfortunately, InTouch observes that the '06 police report wasn't filed until three years after the actual incidents happened.

The police report maintains that Josh Duggar fondled the genitalia and breasts of five young girls; most of the incidents occurring while the children were asleep. It says that his father Jim Bob alerted authorities in December of that year of his son's admitted actions -- which were that he touched a young girl's breasts as she slept -- and was supposedly disciplined. Nine months later, a similar incident reportedly happened.

Jim Bob claims in the police report that he eventually contacted a state trooper about the issue after consulting with church elders, but no official paperwork was filed. Instead, the trooper (and personal friend of Jim Bob), Jim Hutchens, gave Josh a "stern talking to."

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Today, the then-officer Hutchens is serving a 56-year prison sentence for child pornography, according to InTouch and Radar Online.

TMZ confirmed with authorities Thursday that Josh Duggar was indeed the subject of investigation when following up on the case. If guilty of the allegations, Josh Duggar cannot be charged for them because the statute of limitations expired after three years.

Josh Duggar said he has resigned from his position at the Family Research Council in reaction to the information becoming public. His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar released a statement supporting their son.

"Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives," they said. "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."

Josh Duggar's wife, Anna Duggar, said she was told about the incidents two years before the couple married.

"I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock," she said. "When my family and I first visited the Duggar home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes. I was surprised at his openness and humility and at the same time didn't know why he was sharing it. For Josh, he wanted not just me but my parents to know who he really was – even every difficult past mistakes."

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A source associated with TLC told TMZ that the network has not made any decisions about what to do with the popular reality show following the Duggars' large family.

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