Toby Willis, former star of the TLC reality show “The Willis Family,” has pleaded guilty to four charges of child rape, the Tennessean reports.
Willis received 40 years in prison. While the former reality TV star received two 25-year sentences and two 40-year sentences, those sentences will be served concurrently.
He was charged with raping a young girl in September, following the investigation of a rape that occurred more than a decade ago.
“During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information Willis had a sexual encounter approximately 12 years ago with an underage female,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said in a statement following Willis’ arrest. “The investigation into Willis remains active and ongoing.”
The TBI also said that Willis has been under investigation since Aug. 29. He was arrested in Greenville, Kentucky, “where he traveled in an effort to avoid law enforcement,” the bureau said.
“The Willis Family,” which aired for two seasons on TLC, followed parents Brenda and Toby as they shared the challenge of maintaining their large family while keeping up with the workload required to manage their touring family band, The Willis Clan.
Following news of Willis’ arrest, TLC issued a statement noting, “TLC cancelled ‘The Willis Family’ well before learning of the charges brought against Toby Willis. TLC decided not renew ‘The Willis Family’ due to performance ratings and have not aired episodes since April 2016. The family was notified of the cancellation in May 2016. We were shocked in learning of the situation and deeply saddened for the family.”