A New Hampshire man who raped and impregnated a fifteen-year-old girl and then stood by as she was forced to apologize to the congregation at their fringe fundamentalist church has been sentenced to fifteen to thirty years in prison.
Ernest Willis, a member of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, was convicted of three counts of forcible rape and one count of felonious sexual assault in late May, fourteen years after he repeatedly raped Tina Anderson. Anderson had told her pastor about the abuse, but while he reported it to the police, they were unable to locate her after she was sent to another IFB family in Colorado to give birth. (The baby was put up for adoption). Years later, a Facebook post on a support group for former members of the church helped locate Anderson, and 20/20 did a year-long investigation of the church.
The pastor allegedly told her she was lucky she didn't live in Old Testament times because she'd have been stoned, and his wife asked her if Anderson if she enjoyed the rapes. His statement to ABC News at the time was, "Tina was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Mr. Ernie Willis… Tina lied to her mother and to me about this relationship."
At the sentencing today, Willis "read a statement apologizing to her, his family and the church." Anderson, now 29, listened by phone.