Josh Duggar not the first TLC star to face serious jail time for disturbing crimes

Josh Duggar’s trial on child pornography charges is set to begin November 30, 2021. If convicted, the former 19 children and count The star could end up spending 40 years in prison.

Josh has pleaded not guilty to receiving and detaining material depicting child sexual abuse. If he ends up behind bars, he won’t be the first TLC star jailed for a disturbing crime.

“The Willis Family” airs for two seasons on TLC

The Willis Clan on ‘America’s Got Talent’ | Eric Liebowitz / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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The Willis family was a TLC reality show that aired for two seasons. It was created in May 2015, just two months before the cancellation of the network 19 children and count after allegations surfaced that Josh Duggar assaulted several of his siblings.

The show followed the Willises, a family of 14 who performed in the United States as The Willis Clan. Before launching their TLC series, they had already appeared on America has talent and had another reality TV series on GAC, called The Willis clan.

The family included Mum Brenda, Dad Toby and their 12 children, all of whom began with the letter “J” – just like the Duggars. And like that other great family, they embraced conservative Christian values. Brenda said when it comes to parenthood they stay true to the Bible and her husband has strict control over the family, even approving of the clothes her daughters wore (via The Daily Beast).

Toby Willis was convicted of child rape

Screenshot of Toby Willis in 'Megyn Kelly Today' screenshot

Toby Willis | “Megyn Kelly Today” via YouTube

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The last episode of The Willis family aired in April 2016. In September 2016, police arrested Toby Willis for child rape, Fox News reported. At the time, TLC said it was “shocked” by the news and said it had previously decided not to renew The Willis family.

“I was shocked and devastated by the revelation of the events leading up to the arrest of Toby Willis,” Brenda Willis said in a statement at the time, adding that she supported the investigation by the District Attorney’s Office. on her husband.

In July 2017, Toby Willis pleaded guilty to four counts of child rape. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison, The Tennessean reported.

The Willis family decided to move on

After Toby’s arrest, the rest of the Willis family were removed from the public eye for some time. Six of the older siblings resurfaced in 2018, when they released a new album that dealt with their father’s abuse.

The album included the song “Speak My Mind”. The song was written by Jessica Willis, who was no longer with the group. She had made her father’s crimes public in a candid article on her blog. In this essay, she discussed the sexual abuse that began as a child and continued for years. Several of her sisters also identified themselves as victims of their father’s abuse during an appearance on Megyn Kelly Today, while three Willis brothers spoke of the physical abuse their father had committed.

“I still don’t know how to treat it,” Jeremiah Willis said. “It’s not something you would expect. It is not something you want. And this is something that we hope will never happen again. But unfortunately, it is extremely common.

How to get help: If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, send HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 for free, confidential support.

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