Jana Duggar Breaks Silence on Child Endangerment Citation: 'It Was an Accident'

Jana Duggar was cited for endangering the welfare of a minor in September

Jana Duggar has broken her silence amid the news that she received a citation for endangering the welfare of a minor.

Jana, 31, received the citation on Sept. 9, per a court document obtained by PEOPLE on Friday. She pleaded not guilty to the charge and is scheduled to appear in court for a bench trial on Jan. 10.

On Tuesday, she addressed the situation in a statement on her Instagram Story and provided more details about what happened.

"I'm only sharing this 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," she wrote, referencing brother Josh Duggar's recent trial and conviction.

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Jana's statement went on to lay out what she called "the raw facts" of the incident.

"I was babysitting a few months ago when one of the children wandered outside alone. A passerby who saw the child called the police," she wrote. "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."

Jana Duggar
Jana Duggar/INstagram

"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 most to me," she concluded.

Jana Duggar
Jana Duggar. Jana Duggar/Instagram

Several of Jana's family members have spoken out in support of her since the news of her citation broke, including cousin Amy Duggar King and younger sister Jessa (Duggar) Seewald.

"Getting messages about headlines about Jana. Bottom line — it was an innocent mistake," Jessa, 29, wrote earlier on Tuesday. "She was babysitting and one of the kids slipped out the door unnoticed, but it ended safely. Could've happened to anyone."

"She's without question one of the most amazing women 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," she continued.

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Amy also came to Jana's defense on her Instagram Story on Saturday, writing, "I will call out what is right and I will call out what is wrong. This couldn't have been intentional."

"I bet you were exhausted, stressed and just emotionally worn out," she added. "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."

Amy, 34, also said in her message that "the child was ok and found."

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The news of Jana's child endangerment charge came one day after brother Josh, 33, was found guilty on the charges of receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material following an eight-day trial in Arkansas.

The 19 Kids and Counting alum, who previously admitted to multiple incidents of molesting minors when he was a teenager, faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines. His sentencing is expected in four months, but a date hasn't been scheduled, pending a pre-sentence investigation.

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