[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Well, we were waiting for a response from Jill Dillard, and boy we got one!
On Thursday her brother Josh Duggar‘s trial ended with the TLC star being found guilty of one count each of receipt and possession of child pornography, each of which carries a possible 20 years in prison.
In their first statement as a couple on the result, the 19 Kids And Counting alum and her husband Derick Dillard took to their family blog to say:
“Today was difficult for our family. Our hearts go out to the victims of child abuse or any kind of exploitation. We are thankful for the hard work of law enforcement, including investigators, forensic analysts, prosecutors, and all others involved who save kids and hold accountable those responsible for their abuse.”
This must have been especially emotional for Jill, who was one of her brother’s victims herself all those years ago. In 2015, a bombshell In Touch Weekly report first uncovered the investigation into Josh when he was just a teenager. It came to light he had confessed to his parents that he had molested his younger sisters while they were unconscious. However, they kept it quiet and had the then-15-year-old get counseling from a church member rather than facing any real consequences or treatment. By the time police investigated, the statute of limitations had already passed.
That last point makes Jill’s next words all the more meaningful:
“Nobody is above the law. It applies equally to everybody, no matter your wealth, status, associations, gender, race, or any other factor. Today, the people of the Western District of Arkansas made that clear in their verdict.”
She added a Bible verse as well:
“‘Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.’ (Luke 12:1-3).”
But the attention seemed to move away from Josh and his horrible crimes to those who covered them up. She wrote:
“Moreover, ‘[h]e who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.’ (Proverbs 17:15).”*
How inneresting. To whom could she be referring there?
The Dillards were actually in attendance for much of the trial. Jill was even on the witness list, though thankfully it was never necessary to have her on the stand to relive her family’s darkest moments. But that wasn’t why they kept showing up. The reason they gave for that is stunning:
“We have been lied to so much that we wanted to hear the evidence for ourselves in court.”
There it is. They have been “lied to so much.” By who else? The same person who protected Josh all those years and continued to do so in the courtroom: their father, Jim Bob Duggar.
For those who have been following the case closely, Jim Bob was well aware of what his son was doing. According to the testimony of family friend Bobye Holt, Josh admitted to her and his parents that he had molested four of her underage daughters, the younger sisters of his girlfriend at the time. The youngest among them was 4 years old. Bobye testified Josh had told the four parents he [WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT] held the little girl on his lap and “put his hand under her pantaloons and under her panties” and “touched her vaginal area.”
Apologies for reiterating the most awful moments of this, but this point is crucial. See, Jim Bob was still defending Josh to the end, telling the court he never touched the girls’ genitals, only their breasts. He was trying to downplay the severity of his son’s actions. Did he do the same thing with his daughters? Did he downplay what Josh had done to them in their sleep? It’s horrible to imagine, but it lines up with what we know about the man at this point.
The reality TV patriarch also had some very selective memory lapses, so much so the judge even called him out on it, saying his testimony was “not credible” and that he “was obviously reluctant to testify against his son.” The judge said this — not prosecutors.
So when Jill talks about being “lied to” it’s not a stretch to see who she means. After all, she and Derick have been pretty open about Jim Bob cheating them out of money for their Counting On spinoff.
But this time the truth came out. The Dillards say unequivocally they believe Josh was guilty of these child pornography charges:
“After seeing all the evidence as it was presented, we believe that the jury reached a just verdict today, consistent with the truth beyond a reasonable doubt.”
As for the future of the family, they say they will support Anna Duggar and her children however they can:
“Josh’s actions have rippled far beyond the epicenter of the offense itself. Children have scars, but his family is also suffering the fallout of his actions. Our hearts are sensitive to the pains Josh’s wife, Anna, and their seven children have already endured and will continue to process in the future. This trial has felt more like a funeral than anything else. Josh’s family has a long road ahead. We stand with them, we are praying for them, and we will seek to support them however we can during this dark time.”
We wonder how easy that will be if Anna continues to stand by her husband as she seemed to throughout the entire trial. We can’t help but think she may not agree that the truth has come to light.