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Former Village People 'cop'
on the road to recovery

Bay City News Service

June 21, 2006

With a July trial date looming in San Mateo County, Victor Edward Willis, a member of the 1970s disco group The Village People, says he is on the road to recovery now that "the nightmare of drug abuse is being lifted" from his life.

Better known as "the cop" in The Village People, Willis, 54, who helped make famous the songs "YMCA" and "In the Navy," will go to trial in July on charges stemming from his most recent arrest on March 26 during a routine traffic stop near the 700 block of Airport Boulevard in South San Francisco.

Both Willis and a passenger in the car were found to be in possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia, according to South San Francisco police.

Prior to his March 26 arrest, Willis had been missing since Oct. 20 after he failed to appear at his sentencing on charges stemming from a July 11 arrest in Daly City. Willis was pulled over around 11 p.m. in Daly City for an unspecified traffic violation in the area of Bayshore Boulevard and Geneva Avenue, according to police reports.

After being stopped, police found Willis in possession of 3.23 grams of cocaine and a loaded .45-caliber, semi-automatic handgun, according to the San Mateo County district attorney's office.

When questioned by officers, Willis reportedly gave a false name -- his brother's -- and had a fake license, the district attorney's office reported.

On Oct. 19 Willis, who had already accepted a plea bargain with a maximum 16-month prison term, left a phone message with his former attorney Kenneth Quigley informing him he would not be present at his Oct. 20 sentencing because of some needed dental work, the district attorney's office reported.

"Now that I've awakened, I find that I've missed some important things in life, not to mention a couple of court appearances which I sincerely regret," Willis said in a statement. "For that, I apologize to the court."

Since his arrest in March, Willis has been undergoing in-custody substance abuse treatment. As well, he's been accepted to Choices, a residential drug treatment program in San Mateo County.

"He was a simple drug user caught a few times in simple possession, for personal use," Willis' spokeswoman Alice Wolf said. "That's all. He's not some drug dealer or drug trafficker caught with a truckload of cocaine."

Willis is also charged with violating his probation from a 2003 incident in which he was found in possession of 4 grams of cocaine.

According to the America's Most Wanted Web site, which aired a segment on the former music star, "Willis was convicted in 1990 of drug possession and was acquitted of rape in 1993."

Willis has reportedly commissioned a biographer to write a book about his life. As well, he said his "voice sounds about the same, if not better."

Willis, who remains in custody on no-bail status, will appear in court for his pre-trial conference regarding his March 26 arrest on July 3 at 1 p.m. His trial is scheduled to begin on July 31 at 8:30 a.m. He will appear in court on July 3 at 1 p.m. to discuss his trailing probation violation and sentencing matters.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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