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Court rejects appeal in rape case
At the beginning of the trial, Willis had pleaded to one count of felonious sexual assault, contending it was the only sexual encounter and was consensual.
The former Gilford resident had argued in his appeal that his statements to his then-pastor, Charles Phelps, were privileged and thus Phelps should not have been allowed to testify at trial.
The two encounters for which Willis was convicted were in 1997, but although Phelps said he reported them to police and the Division for Children, Youth and Families at the time, the investigation stalled after the victim was sent to Colorado to live with a family who were church members.
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