UPDATE: Since the story broke, Jessa's father-in-law Michael Seewald, and Josh's cousin Amy Duggar have spoken out online. Read the full story here.
News of the Duggar sex abuse scandal broke late this week when InTouch found a nearly decade-old police report detailing Josh Duggar’s alleged molestation, igniting a firestorm of controversy for the prolific reality TV Christian family.
The police report revealed that multiple sex offenses between the then teenager and five underage girls, and usually when they were sleeping. Allegations of “fondling of breasts and genitals” were cited. Some of the alleged offenses investigated were felonies.
Josh has been forced to acknowledge the investigation, resigned from his post as Executive Director of the Family Research Council, and posted a message on the Duggar Family Facebook page: "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."
InTouch magazine published the story Thursday, detailing police records it obtained from Springdale, Arkansas that were not discovered until 2006, and report that Josh Duggar confessed to his father, Jim Bob Duggar, who waited more than a year before contacting police about what his then 15-year-old son admitted doing to five girls.
"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," the statement said. "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life."
His parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, also released a statement on Facebook, "Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. 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."
According to Daily Mail, it was not until producers from "The Oprah Winfrey Show," who were planning an interview with the family in 2006, received an email alerting them to the alleged molestation, that an investigation began. This after the show reportedly reached out to the Department of Human Services. This was four years after the first reported offense, and the time period the police report, discovered by In Touch, came out.
Just hours after the “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star spoke out, the married father-of-four's Instagram account was flooded with comments both condemning and forgiving the 27-year-old, including 2016 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who has spoken out in support of the Duggars.
"Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family," Huckabee said in a statement on his Facebook page. "Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."
TLC issued the following statement: "Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of '19 Kids and Counting' currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time."For more details about the case, visit In Touch Weekly.