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July 01, 2015

Duggars threatened with civil lawsuit by non-family member

Family could be forced to reveal secrets of molesation scandal

A month after a molestation scandal rocked the large, Christian Duggar family of TLC's suspended reality show '19 Kids and Counting,' a victim unrelated to the family may file a civil suit against Josh Duggar.

In May, a 2006 report from Arkansas' Springdale Police Department, obtained and published by In Touch, revealed allegations that Josh Duggar, 27, molested underage girls as a teenager, including four of his sisters. On Wednesday, In Touch reported that the plaintiff in an impending civil lawsuit is the eldest Duggar son's fifth victim, who is not a member of the family.

The suit could compel Josh and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, to give depositions and testify about details surrounding the molestation scandal, including the names of church elders who were aware of the molestation. The family would not be able to invoke Fifth Amendment rights because the criminal statute of limitations has expired.

In May, amid the damaging scandal and investigation, the Duggars reportedly paid small-town Arkansas cops to stand guard at the home of Jim Bob and Josh, according to the New York Daily News. Around the same time, on May 27, there was an incident involving a Department of Human Services employee who phoned 911 after the Duggars refused to let him check on a child.

Should TLC make a move to resume its broadcast of '19 Kids and Counting,' the civil lawsuit could push Josh's secrets into the forefront as the show and family continue their effort to repair a compromised public image.