Last week, In Touch Weekly magazine published a redacted version of a 2006 Springdale, Arkansas, police report regarding reality TV star Josh Duggar's alleged sexual abuse of up to five underage females, some of whom reportedly included his sisters.
In Touch Weekly got the police report through a lawful Freedom of Information request, but did not publish any actual names.
Arkansas State Sen. Bart Hester is now calling for the firing of Springdale Police Chief Kathy O’Kelley for releasing the report to In Touch Weekly, noted KFSM.
Hester, a Republican, stated on May 23:
"The law to protect minors’ identities is not a suggestion. So sad to see the person charged with protecting the community being so reckless and irresponsible. I believe it is unavoidable that the Springdale police chief should be terminated. She has re-victimized these young ladies."
Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse countered, "From every indication I have the chief and city attorney (Ernest Cate) reluctantly did what they had to do to comply with the state FOI law."
Undeterred, Hester added, "The city of Springdale’s liability seems endless on this. I certainly anticipate criminal charges against Chief O’Kelley."
Hester made no mention of criminal charges regarding Duggar, who is part of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," along with his parents and siblings.
Soon after the story broke, Washington County Juvenile Judge Stacey Zimmerman issued a court order that called for the police report to be destroyed, noted USA Today, but copies of the police report are all over the web.
Judge Zimmerman's website shows she was appointed twice by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican and a Duggar family friend who defended the Duggars last week:
Appointed by Go. Mike Huckabee and served on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice, 1999-2005
Appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee and served on the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee, 1995-1998
To date, Duggar, 27, has not specifically admitted to the molestations, but did issue a response via People magazine last week: “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends."
Duggar resigned from the pro-Christian political action group Family Research Council where he worked as strong campaigner against gay marriage and LGBT rights.
Earlier this year, Hester introduced a bill that would allow not allow cities and counties in Arkansas to pass civil rights protection bills that are stronger than federal laws, reported KFSM.
During an interview with CNN in April, Hester defended his bill as not being discriminatory against gays, but rather not forcing (religious) people to participate in gay marriage ceremonies (video below).