The Duggar Parents Reveal Secrets in a Tell-All Interview

The parents of the hit TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" explain the circumstances surrounding their son's multiple acts of inappropriate touching.
7:18 | 06/04/15

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Transcript for The Duggar Parents Reveal Secrets in a Tell-All Interview
Jim bob and Michelle Duggar sat down for an extensive interview about the revelation that their son molested several young girls when he was a teenager. David Wright has the story. Reporter: Let me say right up front as a father of three little girls, this was a brutal hour of television to watch. The duggars who have put themselves out there as models of Christian parenting discussing how their teenage son molested children multiple times for more than a year and that his victims included their own daughters. 12 years ago we went through one of the most darkest times that our family has ever gone through and our son josh came to us on his own and he was crying. Here we tried to raise our kids to do what's right to know what's right and yet one of our children made some really bad choices. Reporter: A reality show family grappling with a very grim reality. He had gone in and just basically touched them over their clothes when they were sleeping. They didn't even know he had done it. Reporter: Breaking their silence to Fox News' megyn Kelly about their eldest son josh. Among his victims, several of the duggars' daughter, josh's sisters. Four daughters and there was a baby-sitter. Yes. Outside of the family. Yes. As a parent, do you feel -- did you feel guilty when you learned that his behavior had continued and other girls in the house had become victims? Yes, yes. We I think as parents you feel like a failure when one of your kids does something wrong. You feel if I had more training or maybe something else this wouldn't have happened but the truth is that kids will make their own choices and they will make their own decisions even though you've taught them what's right and wrong. Reporter: On their hit tlc show "19 kids and counting" the duggars have attracted a huge following as staunch defenders of Christian family values. There is going to be no kissing and obviously no sex before marriage. Reporter: But the parents admit josh Duggar confessed three separate times to multiple acts of inappropriate touching before they finally sent him away to get Christian counseling. The little one was like, what's wrong? Where is -- why is daddy and josh leaving and as we're all weeping the next day and for days and days I was saying, you know, josh has done some very bad things and he's -- he's very sorry. Reporter: Only after that did they finally report the details to a state trooper who himself was later convicted of child pornography. No charges were brought against josh who was 15. Since he had already been through a treatment program there was nothing else to do the trooper said. What would make you launch a reality TV show given this past. We had nothing to hide. We had taken care of all that years before and when they asked us to do the reality TV show, all this had been taken care of five years before and we had a clean bill of health from the state. You had gone through counseling, told the police. Did you live in fear it might come out? I don't know that we lived in fear because we had all resolved it. It had been forgiven. We moved on with life. Reporter: Because josh Duggar was a minor the records were sealed. Now the parents are angry the police report has been made public. There's an agenda and there's people that are purposing to try to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander. I don't know if the rest of our family should be punished for the act of one of our children something that happened 12 years ago or not. That breaks my heart for my girls because I think this is such way horrible -- they've been victimized more by what has happened in these last couple weeks than they were 12 years ago. Reporter: Sentiment seconded by two of the duggars' daughter, josh's victims. We're victims. They can't do this to us. And yet they did. And they did. Set up to protect kids, both those who make super mistakes or have problems like this in their life and the ones that are affected by those choices. It's just -- it's greatly failed. Reporter: Tlc suspended the broadcast of "19 kids and counting" until further notice. No final word on whether the show will ever come back. You can watch more of that interview in a Fox News channel special Friday night. George. Okay, David, thanks very much. Let's talk to Dan Abrams with more on this right now and let's start out with the parents. Are they in any kind of legal jeopardy here. They waited 16 months before they reported this. Not now because it seems pretty clear the statute of limitations is expired. But they could have been, meaning there is a clear law in Arkansas which is a reporting requirement for someone like a parent who has a special duty to a child, also applies to teachers, et cetera, and they could have faced the possibility of up to six years behind bars for not reporting it in a timely fashion 3450e7bing it's a defense if you go to the authorities and say, look, this happened in my family. Please, authorities, deal with it in whatever way you may. When you don't do that in a timely fashion certainly an argument to be made 16 months is not -- The sheriff, right to make the decision, okay, the kid has had counseling, no need to take further action. That's a discretionary call that a lot will second-guess right now and they're going to say, you know, how can you have just said, oh, well, they've had counseling, this is over? But, look, let's also be careful here. These cases involving -- and all cases involving allegations against a juvenile, molesting other juveniles are very difficult, they are very tricky. That's not to suggest that there should or shouldn't have been a further investigation here. And there are all 10r9s of questions about whether they should have investigated more. Meaning the authorities seem to be saying the reason that they stopped investigating was because they assumed the statute of limitations had expired at the time. There is an argument that if at that time they had continued the investigation that they could have gotten charges. That at that time the statute of limitations might not have expired. It seems pretty clear that now the statute has expired. Josh as well. For josh and the parents. And the parents complaining about the release of these records, normally juvenile records are kept private. It's a complicated question. Under the freedom of information act basically someone can sue and say, we're entitled to see these records as the public and typically the sheriff's department is obligated to release documents. The sheriff's department's position is, look, we were a custodian of records meaning we're the place where these records exist and we get a request we're legally obligated to release it. There is an argument on the other side they made a mistake here. That because there were juveniles involved, even though what the sheriff's department had in their records wasn't the juvenile proceeding itself, that that document shouldn't have been released so there is going to be continuing discussion and debate about it. Dan Abrams, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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