Last week, Counting On fans were left shocked– and confused— after news broke that eldest Duggar Family daughter, Jana, was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor in the third degree. As The Ashley previously reported, Jana pleaded “not guilty” to the charge– which she got in September— and she is scheduled to appear in court for a bench trial in January.
However, on Tuesday, Jana decided to speak out about her charge and revealed her side of what went down on the day in question. (Jana’s statement comes just days after her sister Jessa Seewald and her cousin Amy Duggar posted some details about what happened to Instagram.)
Jana made it clear that, although she was charged, she was never arrested and hauled off to jail…unlike her older brother, Josh, who is currently sitting behind bars after being convicted of receiving and possessing child sex abuse materials last week.
“I’m only sharing this because the media has been having a field day with it all,” Jana’s Instagram statement began. “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.”
Jana went on to deliver what she calls “the raw facts” of what happened on the day in question.
“I was babysitting a few months ago and one of the children wandered outside alone,” she wrote. “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. It all happened so quickly and was scary.”
Jana went on to clarify that she was “certainly never arrested like some may have implied.”
Jana— who has always been considered by her parents and siblings to be extremely responsible and strict in regard to her child-raising skills, says she is mad that she allowed this to happen.
“In the end I was just upset at myself that it had happened at all, but thankful it all ended safely and that’s truly what mattered the most to me,” Jana wrote.
Online rumors have stated that the runaway child was one of Josh and his wife Anna‘s younger kids, but that has not been confirmed. As The Ashley previously reported, the citation Jana received stated that the child was found on Dowell Road (which is over half a mile away from the Duggar home!)
One day before, Jana’s sister Jessa took to Instagram Stories to post a message of support to Jana, revealing a few of the details of what went down. She also made it clear that she will still use Jana’s free babysitting whenever she needs it.
“Getting messages about headlines about Jana,” Jessa began. “Bottom line– it was an innocent mistake. She was babysitting and one of the kids slipped out the door unnoticed, but it ended safely. Could’ve happened to anyone. The media is sensationalizing this because of other current family circumstances and it makes me so mad.”
Jessa continued to voice her support for Jana, who is the only Duggar daughter over the age of 18 who is unmarried and has no children of her own.
“She’s without question one of the most amazing women I know and I’d trust her with my kids any day of the week,” Jessa wrote, before slamming those who slammed Jana. “Do me a favor– give the girl a break, and all you perfect humans go back to living your lives.”
A few days earlier, Jana’s cousin Amy told a similar story, mentioning that Jana was probably “emotionally worn out” from being tasked with babysitting so many kids.
“This couldn’t have been intentional,” she wrote. “Thank God the child was OK and found! I bet you were exhausted, stressed and just emotionally worn out. Watching multiple kids is hard! Bc there’s so many of them and you only have two eyes! It’s a very sad situation going on and my heart goes out to @janamduggar. Love you.”
Jana’s younger brothers, Jason and James (both of whom Jana helped raise), also showed rallied around Jana on Instagram over the weekend. James posted “I support Jana Duggar” on Instagram Stories, with Jason reposting James’ post right after and writing, “Bro, same!”
The Elms Springs, Arkansas, District court clerk confirmed the charge to The Ashley on Friday. Jana was charged with a Class A misdemeanor on September 10, one day after the alleged crime took place.
Her bail was set at $430, and she has a hearing set for January 10, 2022. She has hired the law firm that helped to defend Josh.
(Photos: TLC: Instagram; YouTube)