Former reality television star Jana Duggar is breaking her silence after she was charged in Arkansas with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Duggar said the charge stems from an incident "a few months ago" when one of the children she was babysitting 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," she posted in an Instagram Story on Tuesday.
Duggar said the child was safe and child welfare 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," Duggar posted. "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 happened at all, but so thankful it all ended safely and that’s truly what mattered the most to me."
Her sister, Jessa Seewald, also came to her defense, calling it 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," Seewald posted in her own Instagram Story.
Seewald said she thinks the story gained attention because of "other current family circumstances," referring to their brother Josh Duggar's conviction in a separate, unrelated case.
On Thursday, Josh Duggar was found guilty of downloading and possessing child sex abuse images on his work computer in May 2019.
Seewald went on to say that her sister is "without question one of the most amazing women I know and I’d trust her with my kids any day of the week."
She continued: "Do me a favor — give the girl a break, and all you perfect humans go back to living your lives.”
Jana Duggar, 31, pleaded not guilty through an attorney on Sept. 23, the court docket shows. The alleged incident happened Sept. 9, it states.
A trial by judge is scheduled for Jan. 10.
Jana Duggar appeared with her family on TLC's "19 Kids and Counting,” which ran from 2008 and 2015. The show chronicled the lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children.