For the first time since the incident, Jana Duggar of the "19 Kids and Counting" fame has addressed the misdemeanor charge filed against her for endangering the welfare of a minor. The incident happened on September 9 this year, but the 31 year old reality TV star is just now speaking out about the issue.
According to USA Today, Duggar took to Instagram to clarify the issue after people started speculating on the misdemeanor charge filed against her for endangering the welfare of a minor. The misdemeanor charge made headlines on the Friday following the day her brother Josh was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography. Jana Duggar, meanwhile, does not have children of her own.
"I was babysitting a few months ago when one of the children wandered outside alone. A passerby who saw the child called the police," Duggar 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."
Duggar said that law enforcement believed the incident was merely "a case of a child slipping out of the house when you turn your back for a moment." She recounted how "it all happened so quickly and was scary" and expressed gratitude to "law enforcement and those who protect and serve our community."
The 31 year old denied being "arrested like some may have implied." Duggar added that she was "upset" at herself that she let the incident happen but "so thankful it all ended safely."
Duggar responded to the misdemeanor charge with a not guilty plea and is set to have a hearing on January 10. Despite wanting to live "a more private life," the former reality TV star spoke out about the misdemeanor charge because "the media has been having a field day." She lamented that because her family was famous, everything they did was "open to public criticism and interest, especially during this time."
Duggar's sister, Jessa Seewald also took to Instagram to clarify the incident, reiterating the story of how a child slipped out the door unnoticed but that it "ended safely." Seewald added, "The media is sensationalizing this because of other current family circumstances and it makes me so mad."
According to the Christian Post, the Duggars' cousin Amy Duggar King also took to social media on Saturday to "call out what is right" and "call out what is wrong." She vehemently denied any malicious intent on Duggar's part and wrote that keeping an eye on several children is "hard" especially in moments when one is "exhausted, stressed and just emotionally worn out," most likely referring to Josh Duggar's recent child pornography possession conviction.
According to PEOPLE, Josh Duggar is now facing up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines for each of his convictions after a jury found the former "19 Kids and Counting" and "Counting On" star guilty of two charges of knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography. However, possession of child pornography is a lesser included offense, which means that he will be sentenced for the receving part of the conviction. The political activist and father of seven is set to be sentenced in four months. His attorneys committed to appeal despite "[respecting] the jury's verdict."