What happened to Jana Duggar? After being charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, the reality star plead guilty and was ordered to pay $880 in fines and fees, after which the case was settled and adjudicated, the Elm Springs district court clerk confirms to In Touch on Wednesday, January 5. A hearing had previously been set for January 10.
A lot was initially unknown about the incident in Tontitown, Arkansas, that led to her charge, the citation report previously obtained by In Touch provided some insight into what may have happened.
The incident in question occurred on September 9 and the charge against her, which was a third-degree misdemeanor, was filed the following day. A couple of weeks later, the eldest daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar from 19 Kids and Counting fame, 31, formally entered a not guilty plea on September 23.
On Tuesday, December 14, Jana broke her silence on the charge. “I prefer a more private life, but I know my last name means that everything we do is open to public criticism and interest, especially during this time,” she began her lengthy statement via her Instagram Story.
“The raw facts: I was babysitting a few months ago when one of the children wandered outside alone. A passerby who saw the child called the police. 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. They recognized it was a case of a child slipping out of the house when you turn your back for a moment,” she explained. “It all happened so quickly and was scary. I am grateful for law enforcement and those who protect and serve our community. 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 the most to me.”
Life & Style confirmed Jana was not arrested and was fined $430.
Since news broke of the alleged incident on December 10, which was first reported by Without a Crystal Ball, members of the Duggar family have stepped forward in support of Jana.
The TLC alum’s brother James Duggar posted a photo of his sister via Instagram Stories on December 11, along with a caption reading, “I support Jana Duggar.” Their brother Jason Duggar reshared the post to his stories, adding, “Bro same.”
“I will call out what is right and I will call out what is wrong,” Amy, 35, wrote at the time. “This couldn’t have been intentional. Thank God the child was OK and found!”
She added that she “bet” Jana was “exhausted, stressed and just emotionally worn out.”
“Watching multiple kids is hard! [Because] there’s so many of them and you only have two eyes,” she shared. “It’s a very sad situation going on and my heart goes out to [Jana,] love you.”
Details about what apparently transpired on September 9 will be scarce and kept private. However, listed on the citation report is Jason Hart, who is labeled as a witness to the event.
An attorney for Jana, who submitted the not guilty on her behalf, did not immediately respond to In Touch‘s request for comment.
Jana currently resides with her parents at their family compound in Tontitown, which is where most of their now-canceled show Counting On, which has been since scrubbed from TLC’s website, was filmed.
The news about Jana came to light hours after her brother Josh Duggar was taken into police custody in Fayetteville, Arkansas, after he was found guilty of possessing and receiving child pornography in the wake of his April 2021 arrest.
The disgraced TV personality and father of seven, who currently is in solitary confinement for “safety reasons,” now faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count. His sentencing hearing will occur at a later date.
Jim Bob, 56, and Michelle, 55, broke their silence soon after Josh’s conviction in a statement shared to their blog.
“This entire ordeal has been very grievous. Today, God’s grace, through the love and prayers of so many, has sustained us. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone who has ever been harmed through CSAM [Child Sexual Abuse Material],” the pair wrote, before adding how they wanted to move forward in the future.
“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. In each of life’s circumstances, we place our trust in God. He is our source of strength and refuge. Thank you for your prayers.”