TLC Has Another Scandal on Its Hands, and It Involves Alleged Rape
TLC is facing yet another sex scandal with one of its stars.
Toby Willis, the patriarch and star of TLC's The Willis Family, has been arraigned on four counts of child rape. When Willis was arrested back in September, he was charged with only one count after details of an alleged encounter with a 12-year-old girl came to light. Court documents at the time showed that it was a family member who accused Willis of the assault.
Willis pleaded not guilty to all four counts and will appear in court again for a plea hearing on July 11. His trial is set to begin on July 18.
Willis' wife, Brenda Willis, released a statement at the time of his arrest. "I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of events leading to Toby Willis’ arrest. As these are very trying times for the Willis family, I kindly ask all to respect our family’s privacy," she said in the statement. "As a mother of 12, my first priority remains with my children and helping them through this traumatic event."
The Willises and their 12 children, whose names all begin with "J," got their start in reality TV after their Christian family band made it to the quarterfinals of America's Got Talent. Their TLC reality show followed the family and their performances until it was canceled in 2016.
This follows a string of sex scandals for TLC stars over the last few years. 19 Kids and Counting was canceled when it came to light that Josh Duggar had sexually assaulted a number of underage girls. And the Discovery Channel, a network owned by the same broadcast company as TLC, canceled Sons of Guns when its star, Will Hayden, was arrested for aggravated rape of a minor.
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