Toby Willis rose to fame after his talented family of 15 appeared on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent, winning the hearts of many Americans with their wholesome family image. Their rising fame landed them a reality television series on the TLC network called The Willis Family, which followed the Willis Clan band as they performed and participated in day-to-day activities as a family. However, the squeaky clean image of the Willis family has come crashing down as it was revealed that Toby Willis has been charged with rape of a minor.
‘The Willis Family’ patriarch Toby Willis charged with child rape https://t.co/3TFjQoc02G
— FOX411 (@Fox411) September 12, 2016
People Magazine reveals that Toby Willis was arrested on September 9, 2016, after an investigation into a child rape allegation was opened on August 29th. Police indicate that there was sufficient evidence to arrest Willis on charges of raping a young female that was between the ages of 9 and 12. The alleged rape took place 12 years ago but the victim has just recently come forward with the details of the sexual assault.
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) September 14, 2016
According to the Daily Beast, the alleged rape took place in Nashville, Tennessee, 12 years ago. The report details that the rape victim was a family member that was between the ages of 9 and 12 at the time of the rape. The investigation noted that the family member was reportedly asleep when Toby Willis entered her bedroom, removed her from her bed, and raped her.
“It said the family member had been ‘removed by Willis from her bed and raped.'”
The family member, who is now an adult, has not identified herself, but the report indicates she was related to Toby Willis. The police have also confirmed that Toby Willis is not being allowed to go around his wife or any of his 12 biological children at this time.
A report says the Willis Clan patriarch’s alleged child rape victim was a relative: https://t.co/CKWW9af2cg
— Taste of Country (@TasteOfCountry) September 16, 2016
“Authorities confirmed Willis was not allowed to go around his biological children or his wife.”
In response to the arrest, Toby’s wife Brenda has released a statement in which she notes her number one priority right now is her 12 children. Throughout the public statement release, Brenda refers to her husband as “Toby Willis” and notes that all future family appearances and performances have been cancelled until further notice.
“I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of events leading to Toby Willis’ arrest. As these are very trying times for the Willis family, I kindly ask all to respect our family’s privacy. As a mother of twelve, my first priority remains with my children and helping them through this traumatic event.
We are cancelling all appearances for the foreseeable future to focus on the children and their well-being. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We have, and will continue, to fully cooperate with law enforcement officials and ask that you direct all inquires regarding Toby Willis’ case to the District Attorney’s office who have our complete support.”
Brenda also noted that she is working with the District Attorney and that the investigators will have her, and her family’s, full support. Meanwhile, People Magazine is reporting that those close to the family are noting that Brenda and the children are “truly hurting” right now and trying to find a way to “carry on with their lives.” The family friend says that Brenda is “hurting and confused.”
The day of Toby Willis’ arrest, the Willis Clan was slated to perform at the Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall in Greenville, Kentucky. The performance went on a planned, and those in attendance say the family handled the situation with strength and grace.
“They were able to perform without missing a beat, and their energy on stage was magical.”
What do you think about the revelations that Toby Willis’ alleged rape victim was a female relative between the ages of 9 and 12?
[Image via Facebook/ The Willis Family]