The Willis Clan
The Willis Clan rose to fame after appearing on America’s Got Talent in 2014. The family band, consisting of 12 children, didn’t take home the AGT title but they did land their own reality television series on TLC. In the two years since their AGT appearance, the family has grown in popularity on the country/bluegrass circuit and have become regular performers on the Grand Ole Opry.
Last week, the family’s patriarch, Toby Willis, was charged with child rape after a relative accused him of sexual assault. According to court documents obtained by FoxNews, Willis has also been ordered to stay away from his wife, Brenda, and their children.
Willis’ wife released a statement through her attorney on Wednesday.
“I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of events leading to Toby Willis’ arrest,” Brenda Willis’ attorney said. “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 inquiries regarding Toby Willis’ case to the District Attorney’s office who have our complete support.”
46-year old Toby was formally charged by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation with one count of child rape after a weeks-long investigation revealed a sexual encounter he allegedly had with an underage family member in 2002.
Willis had travelled from the family’s Tennessee home to Greenville, Kentucky to avoid arrest when authorities took him into custody. The reality star appeared in court on Monday “without an attorney and did not oppose extradition,” according to FoxNews. “This means that the state of Tennessee has 60 days to bring him back to their state to face charges. Willis will be given an opportunity to enter a plea when he is formally charged in Tennessee.”
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