Toby Willis, the patriarch of a TLC reality show about a conservative Christian couple with lots and lots of kids, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison on charges of child rape.
He was arrested for the crimes last September.
Willis starred in The Willis Family, a show about him, his wife Brenda, and their twelve children, all of whom formed a traveling music/dance act that entertained audiences while spreading the Gospel. The show aired for two six-episode seasons, but according to TMZ, the family was told in May of last year that a third season would not be happening.
The initial charge had to do with a crime that took place more than a decade ago:
Toby Nathaniel Willis, 46, was arrested in Greenville, Kentucky, by agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the bureau said in a statement.
The TBI said Willis traveled to Kentucky “in an effort to avoid law enforcement.”
The law enforcement agency said authorities began investigating Willis on Aug. 29, and agents “developed information Willis had a sexual encounter approximately 12 years ago with an underage female.” More details were not released. The TBI said the investigation remains ongoing.
Three other charges were added to his slate since that arrest.
He pled guilty to all four charges yesterday morning and received his sentences.
Cheatham County Circuit Court Clerk Julie Hibbs confirmed that Willis received two 25-year sentences on two counts and two 40-year sentences on the other two. Those sentences will be concurrent, and served at 100 percent, giving Willis a total of 40 years in prison.
Good. Let the man be locked away.
None of this should be shocking to people familiar with his lifestyle. The Willis family promoted conservative views about religion and sex: Abstinence is a must, premarital sex is forbidden, etc. When even normal, legal sex is treated as a sin, it’s not surprising to see Christians like Willis react in ways that are far, far worse. (Everyone wave to Josh Duggar.)
Remember that when the same evangelicals who tell you Willis represented the best of family values fight against transgender people using certain bathrooms because they’re “sexually deviant.”
(Portions of this article were published earlier)