Springdale Attorney Answers The Duggars: The Police Report Release WAS Legal


Throughout their interview with Fox news’ Megyn Kelly, the Duggars seemed to stick to a predetermined script: obfuscate and minimize. They framed their entire interview around their victimhood, and nowhere was that more obvious than their insistence that releasing the police report was illegal.

Now, a city attorney for Springdale, Arkansas is refuting those claims, making this belief of the Duggars’ just one of the inconsistencies from the interview.

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The Police Report

The first place to publish the police report was “In Touch,” who obtained the 2006 report through a Freedom of Information Act request. It was published last month; in the original report was a bombshell, revealing that not only did Josh molest underage girls, but that Jim Bomb refused to allow police to interview Josh when they did get around to opening the investigation in 2006.

As a result of the report, TLC pulled all the family’s rerun’s from circulation and yanked the program from the air. Josh also lost his position as a leader of the Family Research Council’s lobbying arm.

The report was heavily edited, with plenty of information redacted. It didn’t contain the name of Josh Duggar or his victims, although it did suggest the victims were his sisters — suggestions confirmed by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on Wednesday during the interview with Megyn Kelly.

Legalities

The Duggar family made the release of the report one of the cornerstones of the interview with Kelly, suggesting that the report was illegally released.

Before the interview, Kelly was already questioning the report:

When Michael Brown and Officer Darren Wilson had their exchange and people wanted to look at his juvenile records, they weren’t allowed to do that. They were sealed. We seal the records of juveniles in this country because we’ve made a policy decision that we aren’t going to hold their acts against them unless a judge says we can release them or they commit a felony for which they are charged as an adult — neither of which happened here.

Kelly claimed that the report “re-victimized” the girls. Calls for the police chief to be fired followed, in particular from Senator Bart Hester, a friend of the Duggars.

During the interview, Kelly was sympathetic to the family’s claim the release was illegal. Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald, who claimed to be two of their brother’s victims, slammed the magazine for publishing the police report, and said it was “used to exploit women.”

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar both separately told the network that they thought “In Touch” had bribed city officials to get the report, and they also suggested the chief of police for Springdale was “intent on exposing their family before she retired.”

However, City Attorney Ernest Cate fired back against the accusations; KNWA, a local TV station, reports that Ernest issued a statement Thursday reading:

The requested record was not sealed or expunged, and at the time the report was filed, the person listed in the report was an adult. Any names of minors included in the report, as well as pronouns, were redacted from the report by the Springdale Police Department in compliance with Arkansas law prior to release.

It’s hard to be a victim when reality is constantly proving you wrong.


 Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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