NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The father of reality TV’s “The Willis Family” has pleaded guilty to four counts of child rape.
News outlets report 47-year-old Toby Willis entered his plea Tuesday in Cheatham County Circuit Court and will spend a total of 40 years in jail.
He was arrested in September 2016 after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported Willis had a sexual encounter with an underage girl about 12 years ago.
Willis, his wife, Brenda, and their 12 children performed Irish-inspired roots music as the Willis Clan, advancing to the quarter-finals of “America’s Got Talent,” and starring in a since-cancelled TLC show for two seasons.
He lost six siblings in 1994 when a van driven by his father hit a stray truck part south of Milwaukee and burst into flames. The tragedy became the symbol of the licenses-for-bribes scandal that eventually took down former Illinois Gov. George Ryan.