Suburban religious leader with ties to Duggars sued, accused of harassment, abuse
A suburban religious leader with ties to the "19 Kids and Counting" Duggar family has been accused in a lawsuit of sexual abuse, harassment and cover-up.
An amended lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in DuPage County Circuit Court naming 81-year-old Bill Gothard, of LaGrange, retired leader of the Institute in Basic Life Principles. Gothard, who founded the institute in the 1960s, retired from the ministry last year after more than two dozen women alleged he had molested and sexually harassed them on the job.
Gothard has not been charged with wrongdoing and did not return phone calls seeking comment, but told The Washington Post he is "shocked" about the allegations. "Never in my life have I touched a girl sexually. I'm shocked to even hear that."
A group of five women first filed a lawsuit in October against the Oak Brook-based Institute. The amended complaint brings the number of women to 10.
All live out of state and are seeking at least $50,000 each in damages for each claim. In the lawsuit, Gothard is accused of having sex with one plaintiff without her consent and also preaching that children should obey their parents even if they were sexually abused.
It's been reported by tabloids including In Touch magazine that Josh Duggar, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of the TLC show "19 Kids and Counting," was sent to an IBLP training center in Arkansas after he admitted he had sexually abused some of his sisters.
Lawyers in the case are scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
Hermione the mini horse
Were I about two decades younger, I'd be pestering my parents to adopt one of the 14 miniature horses I learned were recently rescued by Woodstock's Hooved Animal Humane Society.
Adoption Coordinator Jenna Dickson tells me the society rescued the horses in late December from central Illinois after one owner died and the other was unable to properly care for them. Dickson said society members found the 10- to 15-year-old "minis" with hoofs badly overgrown, which affects their ability to walk.
In recent days, the horses have received veterinary care and have been named -- a few of them after Harry Potter characters, including Hermione and Hedwig.
Want to donate, visit them or inquire about adoption? Call the society at (815) 337-5563. You can also donate to help with their care at the society's Generosity.com by Indiegogo page. As of Friday, the humane society had raised $1,650 of its $4,000 goal.
Though the state has entered its seven month without a budget, one Republican lawmaker tells me the impasse between GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-led legislature could stretch into NEXT January. Barrington Hills Rep. David McSweeney says he's heard predictions the state could go without a budget until after the November election.
"It's absolutely disgusting where we stand right now," McSweeney says. The legislature begins its spring session on Wednesday.
Suburban members of Congress have begun to announce their guests for the president's annual State of the Union address Tuesday. Democrat Bill Foster's bringing fellow Naperville resident and anti-heroin advocate Tim Ryan as his guest. Ryan is a former business entrepreneur, father, and former heroin addict. In addition to his personal struggles with recovery, Ryan lost his 20-year-old son to a heroin overdose.
Hanover Park Mayor Rod Craig shared an email exchange with me detailing the quick thinking of police Officer Vince Kajohnkittiyuth, who arrived at a call to find a 1-year-old in distress and began CPR.
"I am absolutely confident that without the quick thinking actions of Officer Kajohnkittiyuth, this child would have been so oxygen deficient that all resuscitative actions implemented by my personnel would not have been effective and the long-term prognosis for this child would have been very poor," Fire Chief Craig Haigh wrote the mayor.
Reinhart makes top 10
In celebrating its five-year anniversary, TVLine.com published a list of most popular stories. Leading the list is one about American Idol star and Wheeling native Haley Reinhart talking about how tough reality show judges are.
Geneva native Kayla Mickelsen is heading to Hollywood after advancing from the American Idol tryout round. Mickelsen, who sings indie rock and pop, describes herself as a "weird, nature-loving energetic vegan." Idol airs at 7 p.m. Wednesday on Fox.
Prospect League team getting name
Lisle Mayor Joe Broda, Lisle Baseball Partners and others are scheduled to announce the winners of a naming contest for the summer collegiate Prospect League team that will play its home games beginning next year at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex. The announcement will be at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, at Country House Restaurant. The wooden-bat league is one of more than 50 summer collegiate leagues across the United States and Canada that are designed with an eye toward scouting and developing players with the potential to reach the major leagues.