20 May, 2017
According to the lawsuit, the four sisters are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against the Arkansas city of Springdale, Arkansas' Washington County, members of the Springdale Police Department and In Touch, alleging they were "revictimized" by the release of the documents that contained "cosmetic redactions" allowing them to be identified as their brother's victims.
The sisters talked to police in December 2006 as part of an investigation into reports that their brother, Josh Duggar, had molested them and one other female in 2002 and 2003, the document states. At the time they were told only police and child welfare officers would have access to their files.
In May 2015, In Touch Weekly sent a Freedom of Information Act request for the incident report after getting an anonymous tip.
Josh Duggar resigned his position as a lobbyist with the conservative Family Research Council in 2015 after he admitted he fondled four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teen. The sisters now claim that according to Arkansas laws, police are forbidden from sharing information pertaining to the sexual abuse of children.
The sisters say they were further victimized by all the scrutiny of their family after In Touch's report was published.
The four were among the "19 Kids and Counting" on the TLC reality show that chronicled the personal life of Arkansas parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
"This case is exclusively about protecting children who are victims of abuse", the Duggar's lawyers said in a statement. Duggars Sue In Touch Over Molestation Stories https://t.co/fb299Uwl23 pic.twitter.com/nhXM506wm9 - Gossip Cop (@GossipCop) May 19, 2017 But Gossip Cop noted that closed sexual misconduct cases in which the victims' names were redacted from the documents and released after the offender was no longer a minor are exempt from the legal prohibition. But Jill Duggar rejected In Touch's claim that it was the sisters who revealed they were among the victims in the molestation case. With the filing of their lawsuit, Jinger and Joy confirmed they were victims, as well.