The Duggar family woes continue. Jana Duggar on Tuesday addressed the “scary” incident that led to her being charged with endangering the welfare of a minor. The incident occurred earlier this year on Sept. 9.
Duggar took to Instagram to share the “raw facts,” following speculation about the charge, which first came to light Friday, one day after her brother was found guilty of guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
“I was babysitting a few months ago when one of the children wandered outside alone. A passerby who saw the child called the police,” she wrote on her Instagram Story. “This resulted in a written citation, as well as a follow-up with child welfare who concluded that it was an accident and the child was unharmed.”
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She said authorities recognized the incident as “a case of a child slipping out of the house when you turn your back for a moment.”
“It all happened so quickly and was scary. I am grateful for law enforcement and those who protect and serve our community,” she wrote. “I was certainly never arrested like some may have implied. In the end I was just upset at myself that it had happened at all, but so thankful it all ended safely and that’s truly what mattered most to me.”
Duggar, 31, has pleaded not guilty to the charge. Her hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10.
Although Duggar would “prefer a more private life,” she said she’s opened up about the incident because “the media has been having a field day.” She acknowledged that her “last name means that everything we do is open to public criticism and interest, especially during this time.”
Jessa Seewald, Jana’s sister, also spoke out about the charges her sister is facing calling the situation an “innocent mistake.”
“She was babysitting and one of the kids slipped out the door unnoticed, but it ended safely,” she wrote on her Instagram story Monday. “The media is sensationalizing this because of other current family circumstances and it makes me so mad.”
An attorney for Jana Duggar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Her charge came to light after her brother, Josh Duggar, was found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography by a jury in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for each count when he’s sentenced at a later date.
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U.S. District Judge Timothy Brooks announced that Josh Duggar will be sentenced in about four months. He was taken into custody after the verdict was announced, according to Fayetteville station KNWA.
Federal authorities said they began investigating Josh Duggar after a Little Rock police detective found child porn files were being shared by a computer traced to him. A federal agent testified in May that images depicting the sexual abuse of children, including toddlers, were downloaded in 2019 onto a computer at a car dealership Josh Duggar owned.
The Duggar family rose to fame with their TLC show “19 Kids and Counting,” which chronicled the personal life of Arkansas parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
TLC canceled “19 Kids and Counting” in 2015 following a sexual abuse scandal involving revelations that Josh Duggar had molested four of his sisters and a babysitter when he was a young teen.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar broke their silence on their son’s conviction in a joint statement posted on their website Thursday calling the situation “very grievous.”
“Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us,” the statement read. “In the days ahead, we will do all we can to surround our daughter-in-law Anna and their children with love and support. As parents, we will never stop praying for Joshua, and loving him, as we do all of our children.”
Josh Duggar’s trial began as Jim Bob Duggar announced he would be running in a special election for a vacant state Senate seat in northwest Arkansas. It also arrived just weeks after Anna Duggar gave birth to the couple’s seventh child together.
Contributing: Maria Puente, Elise Brisco, Cydney Henderson