Village People singer pleads no contest to drug charges, faces
Bay City News Service
July 19, 2006
With well-known attorney Mark Geragos in tow, Victor Edward Willis,
a member of the 1970s disco group The Village People, pleaded
no contest today to drug charges stemming from his most recent
arrest in March.
Better known as "the cop" in The Village People, Willis,
55, who helped make famous the songs "YMCA" and "In
the Navy," pleaded no contest today in exchange for either
a two year prison term or a suspended three-year, eight-month
prison term on the condition that he complete a residential drug
treatment program and six months in jail, for which he has already
"You need to deal with your addiction in a way that you
haven't done before," San Mateo County Superior Court Judge
Mark Forcum said to Willis today.
Forcum will sentence Willis to one of the two options in September
upon review of a probation report.
Willis' spokeswoman Alice Wolf said that if Forcum chooses to
send Willis to a rehabilitation program in lieu of prison, the
singer would likely enter a program in Southern California.
Willis' most recent arrest occurred on March 26 during a routine
traffic stop near the 700 block of Airport Boulevard in South
Willis and a passenger in the car were found with 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, 2005 arrest in Daly City. Willis was pulled over
around 11 p.m. that night for an unspecified traffic violation
in the area of Bayshore Boulevard and Geneva Avenue, according
to police reports.
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.
Since his arrest in March, Willis has been undergoing in-custody
substance abuse treatment through the county's Choices program.
Geragos and Paula Canny, another attorney working on Willis' case,
said their client is doing well in Choices and hopes to continue
to recover from his drug addiction in a residential rehabilitation
"He wants to go into a treatment program and is anxious
to do so," Geragos said.
Since his arrest in March, Willis has spent time reflecting on
the future of his singing career, recently launching a new Web
"I've not lost my voice as was rumored. In fact, my voice
still sounds about the same, if not better," Willis said
in a letter posted on the Web site. "So I look forward to
returning to the stage again for a summer tour starting in June
Willis said he has commissioned a biographer to write a book
about his life.
Willis, who remains in custody on no-bail status, will appear
in court on Sept. 1 at 9 a.m. for his sentencing.
Had he gone to trial, Willis would have faced up to seven years
in prison for his arrest in March, his July 2005 arrest and a
probation violation stemming from a 2003 incident in which he
was found in possession of 4 grams of cocaine.
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