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Willis gets 15 to 30 for rape of 15-year-old church member

September 06. 2011 2:59PM

Ernest Willis returns to his seat after reading a statement during his sentencing hearing on his rape convictions in Merrimack County Superior Court Tuesday. (BOB LaPREE/UNION LEADER)

CONCORD - Ernest Willis, 52, was sentenced this afternoon to 15 to 30 years behind bars for raping a 15-year-old fellow church member in 1997.

Willis was found guilty in May of the 1997 sexual assault, but was only sentenced today.

The victim, Tina Anderson, became pregnant with Willis' baby and chose to identify herself as a victim as the case went to trial. She recounted how she had to stand before the congregation at their Trinity Baptist Church and apologize for getting pregnant.

More in Wednesday print editions of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

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