Willis Clan Father Charged with Child Rape

NBC News
NBC News


Sibling country music group The Willis Clan is best known for its reality show, The Willis Family, on TLC. Now the family, which consists of twelve children and their parents, Toby and Brenda, is making headlines for a shocking reason.

Toby Willis, the head of the family, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of child rape. The arrest comes on the heels of an investigation that began on August 29 when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (“TBI”) discovered Willis had sexual relations with an underage girl about twelve years ago. Upon learning of his inevitable fate, Willis fled Tennessee and was ultimately detained by police in Greenville, Kentucky.

PEOPLE reached out to TLC to determine whether The Willis Family would return to TLC and received word that the series has been canceled. “We are shocked to hear the news,” the network told the reporter.

When PEOPLE inquired further into TLC’s due diligence to ensure that the family members checked out and had no issues in their pasts, a source supplied:

The family was alerted of the cancellation back in [M]ay 2016. The network performed extensive background checks on all the family members and found no issues. Obviously this is something they were never aware of.

Willis is being held without bond as a fugitive from justice in the Muhlenberg County Jail in Kentucky and will be moved to Cheatham County Jail in his hometown where he will also be held without bond, according to a TBI statement.