Fans of The Willis Clan are banding together to show support for Brenda and her 12 children, as father Toby Willis faces charges of raping a child. Toby Willis rose to fame after his 12 talented children made it to the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent Season 9. The kids showed off their musical abilities winning the hearts of many across the country.
As a result of their success on the talent search show, the family was given a series on TLC called The Willis Family. The reality television series followed the Willis clan’s daily activities and performances. However, everything came crashing down for the family when it was revealed that father Toby Willis was arrested for raping a female family member when she was just 9- to 12-years-old. The rape reported occurred 12 years ago and the victim is just now comfortable coming forward.
People Magazine notes that Toby Willis was arrested and charged with rape of a minor after a female family member came forward to describe a rape that took place 12 years ago. The female family member says Toby woke her from her sleep and raped her when she was between the ages of 9 and 12. Police investigated the complaint and allegedly found enough evidence to move forward with prosecution and the arrest.
Reports indicate that Toby fled Tennessee when the arrest warrant was issued and hitchhiked his way to Kentucky. However, police were able to locate the father-of-12 and charged him for the purported crimes. Following the arrest, as the Inquisitr previously reported, Toby waived his rights to a preliminary hearing.
“Toby Willis was given the opportunity to appear in court before a judge for a preliminary hearing. However, Willis waived his right to the hearing and returned to jail. He is slated to return back to court on October 5 to hear the evidence against. A preliminary hearing would have given Toby Willis the chance to be released from prison had a judge found there was no enough evidence to move forward with a trial. Therefore, it appears Willis either believes there is enough evidence in the case to prosecute, is following the advice of a lawyer who wants more time to prepare or is simply trying to keep the evidence out of court records until the last possible moment.”
Following the arrest, Toby’s wife Brenda made a public statement noting that the family was cooperating fully with the investigators and that she is focusing on her children through this difficult time. An insider close to the family told People Magazine that Brenda is really hurting and that she is trying to figure out how to carry on with a normal life.
“They are truly hurting, and trying to figure out how to carry on with their lives.”
As a result, The Willis Clan band cancelled all their future shows leaving fans heartbroken. Fans immediately began tweeting with the hashtag #WillisClanStrong with most people showing support for Brenda and the children. However, there was little support being shared for Toby as fans wait to hear the patriarch’s plea in court.
— Terry Baker (@flyhighandfast) September 18, 2016
— Terry Baker (@flyhighandfast) September 16, 2016
— Daisy Wildsmith (@daisy_wildsmith) September 22, 2016
Really feeling sorry for Brenda and the kids they don’t deserve this problem in their lives????#willisclanstrong
— Kiara (@Idk_fangirling) September 19, 2016
Brenda has distanced herself from Toby in the wake of the charges, with police noting that Toby Willis is not allowed to be around Brenda or the children at this time.
What do you think about Toby Willis’ arrest?
[Featured Image via Facebook/The Willis Family]