Following the controversy surrounding their privacy lawsuit, the Duggar sisters are requesting the court to deny their brother, Josh’s appeal to join their case.
The documents state that the deciding claims based on “protecting victims of sex crimes from disclosure, while at the same time, having those claims consolidated with the perpetrator of those crimes will be confusing to the jury.”
“It would be next to impossible for a jury to ignore the perpetrator sitting next to the victims, yet decide the different issues, different claims and different damages that apply for victims as compared to perpetrator,” the documents read. “Consolidation would undoubtedly give the false impression that the victims and the perpetrator are ‘in this together.’”
While a judge has yet to rule on the case, another line from the documents reads that forcing victims to join their claims with the perpetrators would “further traumatize the very victims” that Arkansas laws were designed to protect.
Earlier this spring, four of the Duggar family sisters — Jill Dillard, Jessa Seewald, Jinger Vuolo and Joy Duggar — filed a lawsuit against the city of Springdale, Arkansas, police officials and In Touch magazine after releasing investigative accounts of Josh’s molestation allegations in 2015. Subsequently, Josh filed a related lawsuit.
In a statement issued to the news agency, the Duggar sisters said the case not only had vast implications for their children, but also brought to the public’s attention so that all children will be protected from reckless reporting.
“This case is solely about protecting children who are victims of abuse,” the statement read. “Revealing juvenile identities under these circumstances is unacceptable, and it’s against the law. The media and custodians of public records who let these children down must be held accountable.”
The privacy lawsuit states investigative reports were conducted almost 10 years ago when the four sisters were underage, and consequently told reports would only be made available to the authorities and child service officers if necessary.
The Duggar sisters also state in their lawsuit that In Touch allegedly filed the request under the Freedom of Information Act when “family drama was unfolding,” ultimately publishing at least eight stories about the investigation.
Photo credit: Instagram / @19kidsandgrowing