Toby Willis, a former TLC star, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of child rape. Willis was sentenced to two 25-year sentences and two 40-year sentences, resulting in a total of 40 years served concurrently in Cheatham County jail.
The 47-year old, his wife Brenda and their 12 children performed Irish-inspired root music on America’s Got Talent first and were later granted their own spin off TLC reality show “The Willis family” in 2015. The series was cancelled after two seasons.
News of his arrest circulated in September, 2016 after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had found that Willis had been involved in a sexual encounter with an underage girl around 12 years ago.
The family’s attorney Bill Speek released a statement on behalf of the Willis’ to The Tennessean. “The Willis family would like to thank their family, friends and fans for the outpouring of love and support during this most difficult year,” he said.
“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.”