Jana Duggar is clearing the air about the circumstances surrounding a citation she received for allegedly endangering the welfare of a child, NBC News reports.
The bottom line, she says: It was an innocent mistake.
Jana, 31, who starred in the reality television program “19 Kids and Counting,” made headlines last week when it was revealed that she had been charged with child endangerment in September. She has pleaded not guilty.
The news broke after her brother Josh was recently convicted on child pornography charges. On Tuesday, Jana issued a statement on Instagram about her case to clarify what happened.
“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,” Jana wrote in an Instagram story.
She continued: “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 that 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.”
Jana said that she was sharing information about the incident “because the media has been having a field day with it all.”
“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.”
It is not known publicly whose child was found outside the home. Jana has no children herself but often cares for other children in her family. All of her younger siblings are age 12 or older, but her nieces and nephews are as young as six weeks old.
Since the charge became public, some of Duggar’s siblings and family members have come to her defense. Duggar’s younger sister, Jessa, said on Instagram: “Getting messages about headlines about Jana. Bottom line — it was an innocent mistake,” according to NBC News.
Jessa added: “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.
“She’s without question one of the most amazing woman I know and I’d trust her with my kids any day of the week. Do me a favor — give the girl a break, and all you perfect humans go back to living your lives.”
Two of Jana’s younger brothers also offered support for her on social media. James posted a photo of his sister and wrote: “I support Jana Duggar,” according to the Daily Mail. Jason, another brother, commented: “Bro, same!”
Amy Duggar King wrote on Instagram that she fully backs her cousin Jana. “I will call out what is right and I will call out what is wrong. This couldn’t have been intentional. Thank God the child was OK and found!,” according to the Daily Mail.
Amy continued: “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 parents have not yet released any statements in support of her.
A trial is scheduled for January 10. Jana faces up to 90 days in jail and fines if convicted.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to a previous episode below.
Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.
[Feature Photo: Jana Duggar/Facebook]