Star of TLC show charged with child rape

The father of The Willis Clan and star of TLC's "The Willis Family" was arrested and charged Friday in connection to an ongoing child rape investigation, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

TBI Agents began investigating Toby Nathaniel Willis, 46, Aug. 29, and during the course of the investigation learned that Willis had a sexual encounter about 12 years ago with an underage girl, the TBI said in a news release.

The Willis Clan is a country music band and family of 14, where all 12 children, ages 5-24, have names that begin with 'J.' They have their own reality TV show on TLC.

TBI agents arrested Willis in Greenville, Ky. where they say he traveled in an effort to avoid law enforcement, and charged him with one count of rape of a child. At the time of this release, he was being held in the Muhlenberg County Jail without bond as a fugitive from justice.

He will be extradited to Cheatham County, where he will be held in the Cheatham County Jail without bond.

TBI special agents arrested and charged the Ashland City man at the request of 23rd District Attorney General Ray Crouch, and the investigation into Willis remains active and ongoing.

Reach Ariana Sawyer at 615-259-8382 or on Twitter @a_maia_sawyer.

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