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The stars of 19 Kids and Counting carefully defended accused child molester Josh Duggar in an interview with Megyn Kelly Wednesday, admitting that he had inappropriately touched four of his sisters and a babysitter but emphasizing it was only while they were sleeping and only over the clothes “for a few seconds.”

Duggar parents Jim Bob and Michelle appeared first on the program, telling Kelly they initially learned of the “improper touching” from Josh himself, who they say came to them crying in guilt. At that point, he admitted to touching two of his sisters while they were sleeping.

But most of the parents’ interview was spent making excuses for Josh, emphasizing that the girls were sleeping and unaware of the “improper touch,” and that Josh eventually felt remorse and turned himself in.

They also defended their decision to initially leave Josh in the home, claiming that they instituted “safeguards” and kept their eye on their son at all times. But the tipping point, Jim Bob and Michelle said, came when they learned a young daughter under the age of 10 had been molested.

Even so, Jim Bob says he stands by his decision not to turn his son in—emphasizing that he had no legal duty to do so—because he had talked to someone who worked at a “juvenile youth sex offender facility” and felt the atmosphere would be detrimental to Josh, who was at least 15 at the time.

Jessa Duggar, the AP reports, later defended her brother, calling the allegations that he’s a pedophile “so overboard and a lie.”


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