Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Duggar Church Dismissed, For Now

Back in October, five former employees of the Institute in Basic Life Principles–a Christian organization associated with the Duggars–filed a lawsuit claiming that they were sexually harassed and sexually abused by founder Bill Gothard, and that the Institute helped to cover it up.

Gretchen Wilkinson, Charis Barker, Rachel Frost, Rachel Lees and a Jane Doe each sought $50,000 in damages from the organization for “failing to report known allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment…to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.”

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit, possibly due to a lack of concrete evidence, but the plaintiffs will have the option to refile.

Radar reports:

“Plaintiffs never provide the most basic— indeed any— facts about the alleged misconduct,” [the defendants] argued in Illinois’ DuPage County Circuit Court documents exclusively obtained by Radar. “Illinois’ fact pleading requirements compel Plaintiffs to offer more than the vague conclusion that ‘sexual abuse’ occurred somewhere, sometime, by someone, and in some way.”

This is far from the first time these sorts of allegations have come up against Gothard. He resigned as head of the organization in 2014 after nearly 35 women–some as young as 13 and 14–accused him of sexual misconduct. Earlier this year, after posting an update to Facebook, Gothard was hit with a flood of accusations from even more. IBLP, of course, claims that an “independent investigation” found Gothard completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

[Radar]