Toby Willis: Reality Star Pleads Guilty to Child Rape, Faces 40 Years in Prison
Toby Willis, former star of the TLC series The Willis Family has pleaded guilty to child rape following his arrest last fall.
According to a report published moments ago by TMZ, he is currently facing up to 40 years behind bars as a result.
If you recall, Willis was arrested on rape chages in September of 2016 after spending several says on the run from authorities.
In March, Willis was arraigned on charges of child rape, which, according to Tennessee state law, indicates a victim between the ages of 3-12.
Today, Willis appeared in a Cheatham County, Tennessee court today, where he pleaded guilty.
He was sentenced to two 25-year sentences and two 40-year sentences to run concurrently, meaning he won’t be eligible for parole until 2057.
It’s unclear why Willis chose not to fight the charges, as it’s unlikely that the 47-year-old will live to see a release date.
Details of Willis’ crimes remain scarce.
Authorities have confirmed that the incident took place 12 years ago, but no information regarding the identity of the victim has been released.
Several sources familiar with the details of the case have anonymously confirmed that the victim was one of Willis’ 12 children.
The Willis family performed as a country music band, reaching the quarter final round of America’s Got Talent in 2014.
Shortly thereafter the family starred in TLC reality series about their homelife and travels.
The show was canceled in September after network execs received word of Willis’ arrest.
For many, the situation calls to mind that of the Duggar family, who also starred in a TLC reality series that was canceled in the midst of a child sex scandal.
The similarities between the two families are numerous, as the Willis family is also a devoutly committed to a controversial fundamentalist sect.
One that encourages its members to raise as many children as possible, in fact.
Both families even named all of their children names that begin with the letter “J.”
Of course, in the case of the Duggars, no one served any prison time, and likening anything to Toby Willis’ crimes is totally unreasonable.
In any event, members of the Willis family have yet to comment on today’s guilty plea, but clearly, the scandal has left them reeling.
We’ll have further updates on this developing and disturbing story if and when more information becomes available.