The Arkansas state trooper whom the Duggar family, of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” turned to more than a decade ago to discipline their eldest son after he allegedly fondled underage girls now says the family concealed the extent of their son’s behavior from him.
Former State Trooper Joseph Hutchens, who is currently serving 56 years in prison on child pornography charges, on Wednesday spoke with tabloid magazine In Touch through a local law firm. Hutchens said that he never reported Josh Duggar’s alleged sex offenses because patriarch Jim Bob Duggar only told him about a single incident of abuse.
A 2006 police report published last week by In Touch alleged that Josh Duggar molested five underage girls when he was a teenager. Duggar has since apologized for “acting inexcusably” as a youth and resigned his position as executive director of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm.
Yet Hutchens said that Jim Bob and Josh Duggar told him Josh had inappropriately touched one girl through her clothing while she slept. They said “it only happened one time,” the former state trooper told In Touch.
Hutchens told the tabloid that the information played a part in his decision not to report the abuse.
“I did what I thought was right and obviously it wasn’t,” he told In Touch. “If I had to do it over again, I would have told him immediately I am going to call the hotline and contacted the trooper that worked those cases and have a full report made. I thought I could handle it myself.”
According to the 2006 offense report, Jim Bob Duggar told police that he brought his son to Hutchens, whom he knew personally, for a “stern talk” after Josh Duggar supposedly completed a Christian counseling program in 2003. The report states that Hutchens said there was nothing more to do about the allegations, given that Josh Duggar had gone through a counseling program.
Michelle Duggar later told police that her son did not go through a counseling program and instead had stayed at a Little Rock home that a family friend was remodeling.
This post has been updated.