Josh Duggar
Josh Duggar’s mugshot on April 29, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Washington County Detention Center)

Former Reality TV Star and Christian Values Activist Josh Duggar Arrested

By Julie Roys

Former reality TV star and  Christian values activist Josh Duggar has been arrested in Arkansas, just six days after his wife announced on Instagram that the couple is expecting their seventh child.

The charges against Duggar, best known for appearing on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” are not clear at this time. But according to an online arrest record, the charges are federal, not local.

In 2019, a car dealership in Arkansas where Duggar worked was raided by Homeland Security agents as part of a ongoing federal investigation. It is not known whether today’s arrest and the 2019 raid are connected.

In October 2020, Duggar’s real estate company, ALB Investments, was ordered to pay $5,000 and lawyers fees and costs to Carl Echols for illegally purchasing five acres Echols owned. 

After rising to fame on “19 Kids and Counting,” Duggar also worked as a lobbyist for the Family Research Council (FRC), pushing for policies consistent with conservative Christian values. 

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However, in June 2015 Duggar resigned from FRC amid reports that he had molested underage girls, including his sisters, when he was a teenager. His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told Fox News that Duggar had confessed to the molestation in 2002 when Josh was 14.

Two months later, it was revealed that Duggar had been a member of Ashley Madison, an online dating service for married people seeking adulterous relationships.

“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” Duggar told the now-defunct Gawker website at the time. “While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this has become a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife.”

According to Newsweek, Duggar will make an appearance in federal court on Friday.

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50 thoughts on “Former Reality TV Star and Christian Values Activist Josh Duggar Arrested”

  1. Several things come to mind, why did the parents cover up sinful behavior that hurt their daughters and this son. Hiding and not bringing it in the light is never going to turn out well. Feeding an addiction as a adult has now hurt his wife and children.
    May he truly seek forgiveness and make amends for what he has done. God calls us to be in relationship with Him. The church needs to wake up and quit building bigger and know the flock so to give the healing that only God can give. Maybe to much Druggers fame?

      1. When the Duggars became aware that Josh had molested five girls, they “dealt with at home” and subsequently had a friend who was a state trooper give him a “stern talking to”. It was not reported as a crime. That same state trooper is now in jail on child pornographer charges.

      2. Headless Unicorn Guy

        Since he started groping his sisters when he was in his teens and they were younger still. Daddy and Daddy’s Friends in High Places made sure Josh got away with it. After all, he was Heir to House Duggar.

      3. He was 14. It never ends well when a family thinks they can take care of this themselves. How many victims could have been saved if they had had professional family services. Look at the damage to his own family. Devastating.

  2. hmm, don’t know what to say anymore. The same story repeats over and over in believer’s lives. Thank you for sharing the news.

  3. This is indeed sad. Maybe someone should look more into the Duggar family. What about Jeremy Voulo who married Jinger Duggar. They are using the gospel for gain. They want no more than celebrity status. There is much to find out here. And Jeremy ties himself to MacArthur. Great place to hide Jeremy!

    1. Headless Unicorn Guy

      The rules of *CELEBRITY* are Now In Effect.
      Not just any *CELEBRITY*, but the Can-You-Top-This Freak Show of REALITY SHOW CELEBRITY!

  4. Josh’s dad has always struck me as fairly creepy, and it would not surprise me in the least to find out that Josh himself was abused when he was a child. Which is not an excuse, of course, but it sure would explain a lot.

      1. Agreed but Duggar senior who hung his children out to dry in public was objectively colossally abusive at the time. Some people have pressed for the right to (actual) family life and the right to privacy and Duggar senior utterly destroyed those. It reminds me of Piper senior and Long senior’s boss “publicly restoring”, and of the Jacksons. “I’ll be there” – but how?

    1. Josh Duggar is charged with possession and transmission of child sexual abuse images.

      Bringing federal charges rather than state ones generally means that the quantity of materials was very large.

      1. Not necessarily. Child porn charges are federal and don’t forget if he crossed state lines and got them from someplace outside the state of Arkansas then it is automatically federal charges,

        1. It can also be federal if it’s via the internet, which almost always means the server is across state lines. I don’t know when federal prosecutors vs. state prosecutors tend to get involved, but anything on the web involving child porn can be a federal crime

  5. Many families have a member who is the errant one who can’t get his/her act together. If he wasn’t a Duggar, no one would care. I’ve never been a fan of the Duggar enterprise. I don’t think exploiting your kids in the name of Christianity is a good idea, especially when they don’t turn out as Christian as you thought they were.

    1. I certainly would not characterize someone who molested five girls as one who merely “can’t get his/her act together”. That’s an inappropriate minimization of Josh’s behavior, some of which was in fact criminal.

  6. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
    Proverbs 18:13

    This is what God says. I am not here to defend the Duggars, but these comments – it hasn’t even been announced why he was arrested and here’s all kind of assumptions and accusations. I’m not referring to the article; Julie simply states facts. It seems that Christians enjoy these things. That’s nothing but pride. Regardless of how you feel about the Duggars, they profess a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that makes them our brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them! Pray for children whose dad was arrested and for his wife. Love the body of Christ enough to want people to make it. If your family has EVER experienced anything close to this, you would pray for mercy and compassion. If you haven’t, you better thank God humbly.

    Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
    Proverbs 24:17-18

    God says this about our enemies. How should we treat those who claim the name of Christ?

    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
    Galatians 6:1

    Hidden things always come to light. God gives us many opportunities to bring them to light and if we don’t, He exposes it. He knows all things. Many of those stories are highlighted on this website and I understand the purpose for much of that. But our response to the knowledge of these things should be prayer for those involved and genuine grief over how it hurts the Christian testimony. I’m not in any way saying to not exercise discernment, but God help us to respond with the mind of Christ.

    1. Thank you, Karen. You said it very well. We need to be praying for them and doing so in a spirit of humility.

      1. I guess if he is guilty of these offenses (innocent until proven guilty) he will confess the whole truth, repent and make straight his paths and seek forgiveness and offer restoration to the victims.

        Yes????? or probably not…???

        1. Repentance is certainly important in the context of spirituality, but that’s not gonna help much legally when it comes to kiddie porn

    2. Interesting to see the admonishments here to withhold judgment, presume innocence and simply pray for for Josh Duggar, confessed child molester.

      They stand in stark contrast to another recent thread in which commenters rushed to condemn George Floyd, and even to justify the taking of his life by government force because “he was no saint” and “would have been dead by nightfall anyway”. Your calls were for “justice”, and no innocence was presumed, in fact surety of his guilt was proclaimed.

      Why so different?

      Josh Duggar–who molested his sisters and a family friend in his teens, engaged in violent perversion with prostitutes in his twenties, and now is indicted for child sexual abuse materials in his thirties–surely that is a man who this group would say “is no saint”. Yet you call for compassion.

      I never saw any of these commenters asking for us to have compassion and pray for George Floyd and his family, though they also profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you see them as brothers and sisters in Christ, too?

      Why so different?

      Consider your own words: “Regardless of how you feel about the Floyds, they profess a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that makes them our brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them! Pray for children whose dad was murdered. Love the body of Christ enough to want people to make it. If your family has EVER experienced anything close to this, you would pray for mercy and compassion. If you haven’t, you better thank God humbly.”

      1. “ Josh Duggar–who molested his sisters and a family friend in his teens, engaged in violent perversion with prostitutes in his twenties, and now is indicted for child sexual abuse materials in his thirties…”

        The fruit is consistent…

        1. Headless Unicorn Guy

          But he is HIghborn, Heir to the Great House of Duggar, so that makes it OK.
          Oh, and they are CHRISTIAN(TM)!
          TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED!

      2. It seems as if Lea’s comment is for me, so I’ll reply.

        My comments never said to presume his innocence. He was arrested. I was aiming my comments on those who presumed they knew the facts before they came out. Proverbs 18:13 warns about that.

        My comments to pray were aimed at the many hurt by his actions though I may not have made it clear. As for him, I would pray that he would come to a place of complete and total brokenness and repentance before a holy God. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t face justice. I made it clear that I was not there to defend the Duggars, only to question the responses.

        Your comment about a recent thread involving George Floyd is something I have no knowledge of. I don’t know if that was a post here or elsewhere. My God tells us in His Word that He’s not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t play favorites. It’s my goal to be like Him as a follower of Christ and to respond Biblically to that situation as well as this one. I’ve never made comments like the ones you suggested.

        You want us to respond in mercy and compassion to George Floyd’s family. We should. You directly referenced my comments on that. Yes, they need our prayers as well. God’s Word teaches us how to respond; that’s why I included the Bible verses. I agree with you – that applies to how we view all of these situations. You believe we should pray for George Floyd’s family, and we should. If you then think we shouldn’t pray for the Duggars, your point has no merit. My God loves and cares for everyone and in all of these situations I want to respond with the mind of Christ like I said. I hate sin and what it does to people. I love people because of the love of Christ.

        Though I wasn’t clear, my mention of brothers and sisters in Christ was aimed at the ones in the Duggar family who have a testimony of knowing Christ. And of course anyone in George Floyd’s family who knows Christ is my brother and sister as well. Of course!

        Did you read this part of what I said?

        “Hidden things always come to light. God gives us many opportunities to bring them to light and if we don’t, He exposes it. He knows all things. Many of those stories are highlighted on this website and I understand the purpose for much of that. But our response to the knowledge of these things should be prayer for those involved and genuine grief over how it hurts the Christian testimony. I’m not in any way saying to not exercise discernment, but God help us to respond with the mind of Christ.”

        My reference to hidden things is a reference to Josh. Has God not allowed these things to come to light over and over? I still believe we should seek to respond as Christians.

        You’ll have to show me specifically in my comment where I called for compassion on Josh and defended him. I didn’t. But I stand by my call to pray for his family and especially his children. And if you think that’s wrong, you have no right to bring up any other set of circumstances.

        Thank you for your thoughts and your challenge to apply God’s Word across the board in these situations.

    3. “Regardless of how you feel about the Duggars, they profess a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that makes them our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

      To Karen and Others Who Agreed With Karen,

      Whether or not some or all of the Duggar family members are born again believers in Christ, please understand that a mere profession of faith does not make anyone a brother or sister in Christ. True conversion does.

      -Mike

      1. You are absolutely right and I totally agree.

        Since no one apart from God knows who’s truly been converted, how do you suggest we treat those who profess to know Christ AND act as if they do? With suspicion? Or hatred?

        I’m not talking about how to treat unrepentant sinners. Read my comments carefully.

        I don’t understand your point.

    4. Karen,

      Stating your opinion and over-quoting Scripture is messed up. Do you know the history of this mess and the fact that it is federal charges that he is facing? When places you frequent are raided by HomeLand security, I would say some serious charges are leveled. You do not get raided for petty crime.

      He has been covered for since he was 14. He is not beyond repentance and confession, but he has committed very serious crimes.

  7. In the following comment please do not assume that I believe that he is innocent or guilty.

    There was once a principle of law that we all abided by and that was “innocent until proven guilty”. In the past number of years, this important teaching in our law seems to have been forgotten or ignored. We seem to judge before we know the facts. In this case, we don’t know anything more than he was arrested. Should we not withhold our judgement until a court of law has weighed the matter? To do otherwise risk damage to someone who might be innocent.

    There is a place for discernment (judging) in our society but with it comes heavy responsibility on our end. Jesus said in “Matthew 7:1-2 NIV
    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. [2] For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    1. Headless Unicorn Guy

      In other blogs, whenever something like this goes down, the comment threads are suddenly jammed with Defenders of the Faith (and the ManaGAWD). “Judge not, Lest Ye Be Judged”, “Bitter”, “Sense Demonic Spirits of Fill-in-the-Blank in all of you”, Bible Verse Bible Verse Bible Verse Bible Bible Bible.

      In politics this is called a “Truth Squad”, attack-dog propaganda blitz to shame and silence all accusers.

      Not falling for it, no matter how much SCRIPTURE(TM) and Christianese you tack on.

  8. I feel I really need to say something for his wife Anna: God’s covenantal design for marriage is broken by abuse, and Scripture does not mandate that the wife of an abuser must remain married. Josh has been know to be a criminal, molesting his sisters, then lied about it for years with the help of his sick parents, “covering up” his disgrace. Thank God it was all brought to light. There is something really really sick going on in the Duggar household.

    Also, why on earth is she staying with him? Who would subject their kids to this kind of person? I truly feel for her. She is no doubt in a lot of pain, now realizing what he is truly like, and probably feels “biblically obligated” to stay with him. This is a terrible message for her daughters. I sincerely hope when they grow up they will realize that they do not have to marry someone like this, then stay with them. God bless Anna and her children.

    1. Emily,

      It is distressing for me to say that a dear friend of mine divorced because her husband did not understand nor get professional help when their son molested their daughter. She feared for here daughters safety, it was not an issue of boys will be boys. Her family is broken and since they’re were no consequences or repentance, that same behavior will happen again, but this time, it will be with someone else’s daughter. God help us.

      People judged her for the divorce, and since she could not trust anyone in the church, she has had to remain silent and no one knows the truth of the matter. It has devastated her, she still clings to the Lord, but is afraid of the church.

  9. Latest reports say he was charged with possession of and receiving child pornography (some of which involved children younger than 12 years of age).

  10. Take a good look at the picture of him above. It speaks volumes.

    Let us keep his pregnant wife in our prayers, pregnant by an unrepentant child molester.
    I know the pain. It is wound that bleeds and bleeds.

  11. 5,000 wasn’t the value but just the costs? In a case I know (because I was invited to pitch a few quid in, which I didn’t) the owner was ordered to pay costs instead of the church-related illegal purchasers (two very high profile people). The property registry official in that locality concerned, with whom the illegal purchase had been “arranged”, didn’t get prosecuted either. The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children are quivering from the age of 14 onwards. Weren’t Falwell senior, or Long senior, or other spiritual firms’ seniors, squeaky clean – in doctrine, where it does matter?

    1. Headless Unicorn Guy

      “Weren’t Falwell senior, or Long senior, or other spiritual firms’ seniors, squeaky clean – in doctrine, where it does matter?”

      Their Ideology was Pure and Correct.
      Purity of Ideology, Comrades.
      Purity of Ideology.

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