NH man convicted of raping teen church member
A New Hampshire man was found guilty Friday of forcibly raping and impregnating his children’s 15-year-old baby sitter, who belonged to the same church, more than a decade ago.
The case involving 52-year-old Ernest Willis of Gilford garnered national attention because the fundamentalist Baptist church he and the girl attended made her apologize to the congregation. The pastor then helped ship the girl to live with a Colorado couple she didn’t know and put her baby up for adoption. Concord police did not locate her until last year.
Before trial, Willis pleaded guilty to one count of statutory rape but denied he forcibly raped Tina Anderson twice in 1997. She said it happened once while he was giving her driving lessons and again at her home weeks later. Willis testified that the two had sex on only one occasion and it was consensual.
The Associated Press typically does not identify those who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Anderson asked that her name be used.
Anderson, now 29, said in a victim impact statement Friday that Willis destroyed the person she was and filled her with shame and guilt. Willis looked at her throughout her statement, his face appearing flush.