UPDATE Toby Willis arraigned on four counts of child rape

Toby Willis update 1

An unexpected development in the Toby Willis rape case saw the disgraced former reality TV star charged with four counts of child rape in a Tennessee courthouse this week. Willis’ trial had been postponed five times since his arrest last September; most recently, his attorney asked for more time for Willis to undergo a mental health evaluation. Michael Shipman, who had been representing Willis, said that recent conversations with his client left him questioning Willis’ mental state.

However, according to The Tennessean, state prosecutors decided to circumvent the scheduled May 31 hearing by presenting their findings to a grand jury. Shipman “was not present at the arraignment”; instead, Willis was represented by a public defender.

RELATED: Toby Willis trial delay #5: Incomplete psychiatric hearing sets date back yet again

The four Toby Willis rape charges were read by Circuit Judge Larry Wallace, Willis pleaded not guilty. His plea date is July 11, and his trial is now officially scheduled to begin on July 18.

Willis is accused of raping a nine- to twelve-year-old girl–allegedly a family member, though accounts seem to differ on this point–in 2002. An anonymous tip alerted the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in August of 2016, and the TBI had enough evidence to arrest Willis by early September. But Willis fled to Kentucky, where he was captured by local police before being extradited back to Tennessee.

(Photo credits: Toby Willis rape charges via Cheatham County PD)

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  • jeff

    Horrific and absolutely disgusting. It also makes me wonder why the hell the wife hasn’t divorced him yet. If there was enough evidence, 14 years later, to arrest him that quickly… well, innocent until proven guilty but the facts are the facts.

    • Shotgun

      …or are the facts asinine hearsay?

      It’s difficult for me to believe a strong Christian family isn’t being systematically spoiled in front of a public audience.

      “Hey there, goyim…you don’t want to be a large homeschooling family! That’s weird and likely indicates sexual misconduct! In fact, let’s go ahead and outlaw homeschooling…”

      • David

        My question is why the crap has this taken so long?! If the man is guilty then prove it. If he’s innocent then let him free. I smell a huge lawsuit simmering on the horizon simply over how this whole Barney Fife investigation has been handled.

        • Shotgun

          Whole thing sounds fishy; and based on an “anonymous tip”? Really?

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