‘Wonders if this crime happened in the family?’
Former TLC star Toby Willis pled guilty to child rape and was convicted Monday
Former reality star Toby Willis, of the Willis Clan fame, was sentenced to 40 years on Tuesday after pleading guilty to four counts of child rape
The 46-year-old Tennessee musician was handed two 25-year prison terms on two of the charges, and two 40-year terms on the remaining two.
Those sentences will run concurrently, at a hundred percent so Willis will be released at the age of 86
Willis has been in the Cheatham County Jail since September 2016, when he was arrested for the rape of a young girl between the ages of 9 and 12 that had occurred 12 years ago.
Authorities were tipped off about the crime by a family member
Willis, 46, pleaded guilty to four counts, a week before he was set to go to trial
The Willis Clan patriarch, of TLC fame, was arrested in September after fleeing from Tennessee to Kentucky
Married father-of-12 was charged with raping a young girl about 12 years ago
Willis, patriarch of the Willis ‘singing’ Clan, appeared in the show with his wife and 12 kids until it was canceled due to poor ratings in April 2016
Former TLC star Toby Willis, pled guilty to four counts of child rape. His victim was under 12 years of age at the time
Former TLC reality star Toby Willis, of the Willis Clan fame, was sentenced to 40 years on Tuesday after pleading guilty to four counts of child rape.
The 46-year-old Tennessee musician and married father-of-12 was handed two 25-year prison terms on two of the charges, and two 40-year terms on the remaining two. Those sentences will run one hundred percent, but concurrently, meaning that Willis will serve a minimum of 40 years behind in prison.
Following whistle blowing by a family member, Willis has been in the Cheatham County Jail since September 2016,
He was arrested for the rape of a young girl between the ages of 9 and 12 that had occurred 12 years earlier.
Toby Willis, his wife Brenda and their dozen children got their first hit the spotlight in 2014, when they reached the quarterfinals in season nine in America’s Got Talent
Toby’s wife Brenda and the Willis family on Tuesday released a statement through their attorney thanking their fans and friends for their love and support, reported The Tennessean.
‘Although the criminal case has concluded with Toby Willis receiving 40 years for the crimes he committed, the impact on the victims will remain much longer,’ the statement read, in part.
The investigation into Toby Willis began in August 2016 after a family member reported the rape allegations to police.
Toby Willis,was sentenced on Tuesday to a total of 40 years in prison
Willis was arrested On September 9, 2016, in Greenville, Kentucky, after allegedly trying to flee police in Tennessee. Detectives said he had been hitchhiking through the state to evade them.
During his arraignment in March, Willis denied the four charges of child rape. His guilty pleas on Tuesday came a week before he was scheduled to go to trial.
Willis, his wife Brenda and their 12 children began performing Irish-inspired roots music as the Willis Clan in Chicago and moved to Tennessee in 2001. In 2014, the family, based in Ashland City, advanced to the quarter-finals of America’s Got Talent, and in 2015, they began starring in a TLC reality show called The Willis Family.
TLC announced days after Willis’ arrest that The Wills Family would not be renewed for a third season. A TLC spokesman said at the time the show’s cancellation had been decided upon prior to Willis’ arrest.
The Family of fourteen aired for two seasons on TLC before being canceled in April 2016 due to poor ratings
The Willis Family aired for two seasons on TLC before being canceled in April 2016 due to poor ratings.
Producers said they had conducted extensive background checks on all of the family and were ‘shocked’ by the news.
Following the father’s arrest in September, network officials removed all reference to the family from its website.
Brenda Willis and the Willis Clan released the following statement through their attorney:
“The Willis family would like to thank their family, friends and fans for the outpouring of love and support during this most difficult year. Additionally, the Willis family would like to thank the many members of law enforcement for their detailed and comprehensive investigation of this matter. Finally, the family would like to thank the District Attorney’s office for their diligence and sensitivity in the handling of this case. The family has remained fully cooperative throughout the investigation. Although the criminal case has concluded with Toby Willis receiving 40 years for the crimes he committed, the impact on the victims will remain much longer. The family is appreciative and grateful that people have respected their need for privacy during this trying time and asks for continued respect as they seek to move forward.”