Reality TV star Toby Willis arrested on child rape charge
Willis is the father of 12 on popular US series The Willis Family
Reality TV star Toby Willis has been arrested for an alleged sexual encounter with an underage girl dating back approximately 12 years ago.
Willis (46) who appeared on The Willis Family on TLC, was arrested on Friday in Greenville, Kentucky.
He was charged with one count of rape of a child and is currently being held without bond at a county prison in the same city.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations said they began investigating Willis on 29 August and “developed information Willis had a sexual encounter approximately 12 years ago with an underage female”.
The TBI said Willis was arrested in Greenville, Kentucky, where he had reportedly travelled to in order to avoid police.
TBI agents said the investigation into Willis remained “active and ongoing” and he would be sent to Cheatham County in Tennessee where he would be imprisoned without bond.
TLC told CNN they were “shocked to hear this news” in a statement. The TV network confirmed that it had not renewed the show and new episodes had not been shown since April this year. TLC has removed The Willis Family page from its website as of Saturday.
Willis and his family starred in The Willis Family, a reality TV show which followed their life as a musical family of 14 from Nashville, Tennessee. The show follows the parents and their 12 children whose names all begin with the letter "J" showcasing their musical and dancing skills. The family of entertainers, known onstage as The Willis Clan made it to the quarter finals of season nine of America's Got Talent.