Josh Duggar is currently awaiting trial following an investigation and his subsequent arrest on child pornography charges. However, years before this a report broke that mentioned as a teenager he had molested five young women, including some of his sisters. That report led to the cancellation of 19 Kids and Counting and put some of the Duggar siblings in the limelight in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, according to a lawsuit several of the Duggar sisters have filed. In fact, separate from the stuff going on with Josh, Jill and Jessa, along with several other siblings, have sued the city of Springdale, Arkansas and now the city has fired back with its own claim.
When last we heard about the lawsuit related to the molestation report, we learned that Jessa Duggar Seewald, Jill Duggar Dillard, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, and Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth were finally expected to have their day in court on December 9, 2021. As part of that lawsuit, however, there have been some changes in recent months, with certain parties initially listed on the lawsuit being removed (six in total) and more.
Now, the city of Springdale, which is still cited on the lawsuit filed by the Duggar sisters, has responded to the original 2017 suit. It it, the defendants allege that Josh Duggar had been placed on a sex offender registry prior to the molestation report’s release in 2015. The document notes:
The paperwork was filed at the tail end of last month. That response indicates the city of Springdale and the remaining defendants on the lawsuit feel that the release of the molestation reports was not major news or an invasion of privacy rights given that Josh Duggar allegedly had already been on a sex offender registry before the report broke.
Per a report over at The Guardian, Josh Duggar is not currently on the Arkansas sex offender registry and it’s unclear if he ever was, despite the filed paperwork. The Springdale defendents have also filed a subpoena with the Department of Human Services hoping to prove that Josh Duggar’s alleged sex offender status was known before the now-infamous report was released following the retrieval of the report via the Freedom of Information Act. They have not been able to obtain that information so far, but the defendants have also argued they have a right to the documents, noting,
The original report was released by InTouch back in 2015. It detailed how authorities were privy to Josh Duggar. Because those who were spoken to and named in the report, including the victims, were underage at the time, the lawsuit from the Duggar sisters has hinged on the release of those names and that information. The lawsuit states that they spoke on the record only after being promised their names would be kept private, which ultimately did not happen. The siblings have also claimed the release of the 2006 report has caused them “emotional distress.”
In fact, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Jill Duggar Dillard later ultimately opted to address what had happened with Megyn Kelly after the report broke and all of the information rolled around. Eventually, the Duggar sisters were able to pick up where they left off in their reality careers with Counting On (a series Jill eventually left), but the lawsuit was filed in 2017 and has been ongoing since.
Meanwhile, Josh Duggar is preparing for his own trial, which is also expected to happen toward the end of this year. He was arrested back in the spring on two charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. His legal team more recently successfully pushed back the trial date to the late fall. It is now expected to kick off on November 30th of this year.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.