We all remember Josh Duggar, that paragon of Christian values who was a Washington lobbyist for the anti-LGBT hate group, the Family Research Council.
The eldest of a family with 19 children and one of the stars of the TLC reality show, 19 Kids And Counting, Josh is the guy who snuck into the bedrooms of four of his sisters and performed sex acts on them when he thought they were sleeping. The guy who also molested a girl from outside of the Duggar family who spent time with his sisters. The married guy with a pregnant wife who frequented AshleyMadison.com, a cheating website, and made good use of it. The guy whose excuse was the devil made him do it. Yeah, THAT Josh Dugger.
On Wednesday, David G. McAfee of the Nonreligious blog at Patheos.com wrote that sisters Jill, Jinger, Jessa and Joy Dugger, who were the victims of Josh’s sexual assaults, filed suit against InTouch Weekly, as well as against Arkansas police and city officials. The basis for their complaint is that the interviews they gave to police regarding the molestations should never have been released to the public.
As McAfee notes in his article, the Duggar sisters have legitimate claims regarding their privacy, so a lawsuit of this kind wasn’t unexpected.
In May, the legal team representing Josh Duggar filed a motion to merge a separate suit by Josh with his sisters’ suit. Poor Josh claims that he suffered hurt and trauma when the world found out that he molested his sisters and a friend of theirs.
Mc Cafee wrote:
He claimed the actions of the police caused him mental anguish and humiliation, and that he was forced to relive the ‘traumatic experience’ he had as a juvenile. In other words, he’s suing people because they reminded him of the traumatic experiences he caused.
The attorneys representing the sisters responded in a brief filed this week:
Deciding claims based on protecting victims of sex crimes from disclosure, while at the same time, having those claims consolidated with the perpetrator of those crimes will be confusing to the jury. It would be next to impossible for a jury to ignore the perpetrator sitting next to the victims, yet decide the different issues, different claims and different damages that apply for victims as compared to perpetrator. Consolidation would undoubtedly give the false impression that the victims and the perpetrator are ‘in this together.’
Forcing the victims to join their claims with their perpetrator’s claims would further traumatize the very victims Arkansas law is designed to protect.
McAfee summed it up nicely:
There’s no telling if the court will side with Josh Duggar or his sisters, but it would be pretty extreme if the cases were merged against the victims’ will. It’s a recipe for further trauma, especially considering all that they have been through. The girls, I mean. Not Josh.