“I’m only sharing this because the media has been having a field day with it all,” the former reality star, 31, began in a statement on Tuesday, December 14, via Instagram Story. “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 continued by listing “the raw facts” about what really happened.
“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,” Duggar wrote. “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. 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.”
The former TLC personality was charged on September 10 in Arkansas, according to the Elm Springs District Country Clerk. A court date is set in January. Consequences for endangerment of a minor ranges from fines to 90 days of jail time. She pled not guilty to the charges.
Hours before Duggar’s statement, her sister Jessa Seewald came to her defense, sharing a statement of her own via Instagram Stories.
“Bottom line — it was an innocent mistake,” Jessa, 29, wrote. “She was babysitting and one of the kids slipped out the door unnoticed, but it ended safely. Could’ve happened to anyone.”
The mother of four added that her sister is “without question one of the most amazing woman I know and I’d trust her with my kids any day of the week,” before adding, “Do me a favor — give the girl a break, and all you perfect humans go back to living your lives.”
The news of Jana’s legal trouble made headlines one day after her brother Josh Duggar was convicted on two charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. The 33-year-old faces up to 20 years in jail and $250,000 in fines for each count.