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September 13, 2016 02:30 PM

Just a year before former TLC star Toby Willis was arrested for child rape, his 12 children spoke very highly of their father.

“He’s a visionary,” eldest daughter Jessica told PEOPLE at their family home in Ashland City, Tennessee, at the time. “He’s like my professor and my coach and my producer and my dad all rolled into one.”

Willis, 46, is now facing 25 years in jail for an alleged sexual encounter with an underage girl between the ages of 3 and 13 that happened in Nashville 12 years ago.

Toby Nathaniel Willis
TBI

For more on Toby Willis’ shocking arrest, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Before the shocking charges Willis appeared to be a wholesome family man working behind the scenes as producer and sound technician for The Willis Clan, a band made up of eight daughters and four sons ranging in age from 5 to 24: Jessica, Jeremiah, Jennifer, Jeanette, Jackson, Jedidiah, Jasmine, Juliette, Jamie, Joy-Anna, Jaeger and Jada.

The Willis family
Discovery

“He approves every outfit the girls wear,” his wife Brenda said. “He pretty much buys everything.”

Willis appeared in court in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, on Monday where he did not have an attorney and did not oppose extradition. He isn’t expected to enter a plea until he is formally charged in Tennessee.

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