When Josh Duggar was arrested on child pornography charges, many wondered if his parents would finally be held accountable for allowing their son to get away with so much for so long.
Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case — but it wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of the prosecution.
As you may recall, Josh’s father, Jim Bob Duggar, was called to the stand during an evidentiary hearing that preceded the trial.
From the very beginning, witnesses say, the patriarch made it clear that he had no intention of being a cooperative witness.
In fact, his behavior toward prosecutors was described as downright hostile.
As we reported earlier today, unsealed documents from Josh’s trial and pre-trial hearings have revealed damaging new information about Jim Bob and his failure to prevent Josh from molesting his own sisters.
We learned, for example, that one of Josh’s victims attempted to fight him off during the attacks.
This unidentified daughter of Jim Bob’s — the victims were not named in court, as they were underage at the time of the attacks — reported Josh’s crimes to her parents, but it appears that no action was taken.
Now, transcripts of Jim Bob’s testimony have been obtained by UK tabloid The Sun, and they reveal a side of the patriarch that may come as a surprise to those who only know the father of 19 from his television appearances.
The goal of the hearing at which Jim Bob testified was to determine if discussion of Josh’s previous sex crimes should be allowed at his child pornography trial.
The defense vehemently against this, of course, but in the end, the judge decided to allow it.
Jim Bob’s hostility was apparent from the very beginning when he lashed out in Josh’s defense following a simple question about where the family was living at the time of the attacks.
“Johnson Road. I’d like to say, too, that, you know, this was a… something for a young man to come forward,” an irate Jim Bob replied.
“This is a juvenile… It was a juvenile record that was sealed.”
When the judge instructed Jim Bob to stick to the line of questioning, he lashed out again.
“Right. But you’re taking into consideration this was a sealed case that was expunged by Judge Zimmerman, right?” Jim Bob asked.
“Mr. Duggar, if there is an objection that needs to be asserted, someone will assert it. You need to answer the questions.”
Jim Bob later testified that Josh came to him as a teen and confessed that “he had touched [Jane Does 1 to 4] when they were sleeping on the breast over their clothes. They didn’t wake up.”
He says Josh later made a second confession regarding “inappropriate touching.”
Jim Bob claimed that he had no memory of Josh confessing to touching his sisters’ “vaginal areas,” at which time the DA quoted from a police report that was published in In Touch Magazine in 2015.
“If you are using an ‘In Touch’ Magazine article as your case…” Jim Bob interrupted.
“Mr. Duggar,” the judge admonished, which prompted Jim Bob to respond:
“I’m not going to allow that. Are you allowing that?”
If you’ve been following the Duggar family — as a fan or critic — for any length of time, then you know that open displays of hostility are very uncommon among Jim Bob and company.
Even during family disagreements that might grow heated under normal circumstances, the Duggars smile placidly at one another and speak in soft tones that are meant to convey that they enjoy the abiding peace of ones who have been granted eternal salvation.
This is no accident.
Members of the Quiverfull movement — the cult that informs most of Jim Bob’s bizarre belief system — are instructed to resist provocation and remain polite and friendly in all situations.
So the fact that Jim Bob lost his cool on the stand in front of dozens of observers — several of whom were members of the press — is noteworthy for a number of reasons.
This is a man who’s known wealth and power for his entire life who now feels backed into a corner.
If there’s a shred of humanity left within him, then he feels overwhelmed with guilt that he allowed such horrific abuse to take place under his watch.
The more likely explanation, however, is that Jim Bob was concerned for the effect that his testimony might have on his reputation and business interests.