Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ernest Willis, found guilty of raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old babysitter from his church

A Merrimack County bailiff handcuffs Ernest Willis after he is found guilty on Friday of forcibly raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old baby sitter.

A Merrimack County bailiff handcuffs Ernest Willis after he is found guilty on Friday of forcibly raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old baby sitter.

A New Hampshire man was found guilty on Friday of raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old babysitter from his church more than a decade ago.

Ernest Willis

Ernest Willis

The case came under the national spotlight after the victim, Tina Anderson, revealed that the fundamentalist Baptist church she and her attacker, Ernest Willis, attended forced her to confess her “sin” and apologize to the entire congregation.

She was not allowed to tell church members that the pregnancy was the result of being raped.

The pastor at Trinity Baptist Church then helped ship Anderson off to live with a Colorado family she didn't know to deliver the baby, who was put up for adoption.

Concord police did not find her until last year.

Willis, 52, of Gilford had previously pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape, but denied he forcibly raped Anderson twice in 1997.

Anderson, now 29, said Willis forced himself on her while he was giving her driving lessons and again at her home weeks later. Willis argued the sex was consensual.

Tina Anderson, left,  and Jocelyn Zichterman, center, talk with supporters after the court's verdict. (Alexander Cohn, AP)

She told ABC News' 20/20 last month that when she discovered she was pregnant, she confided in Willis who offered to pay for an abortion.

When Anderson refused, “he asked me if I wanted him to punch me in the stomach as hard as he could to try to cause a miscarriage. I told him ‘no.'”

Chuck Phelps, who was pastor of the church, said Anderson voluntarily apologized at the church. The defense questioned the credibility of the young woman's account, noting she went out to dinner with Willis on her 16th birthday just two months after she said Willis raped her.

"When he decided his sexual gratification was the most important thing in his life, he shattered mine," Anderson read from a victim's statement as Willis stared at her.

Willis faces up to 54 years behind bars.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites