Dressing up as a police officer for career purposes evidently doesn't make one immune to the law.
A Bay Area judge ruled Monday that there was enough evidence to send the drug-related cases against Victor Edward Willis--the original cop from '70s hitmakers the Village People--to trial.
Willis, 54, was arrested July 11 when police found crack cocaine, drug paraphernalia and a loaded gun in his car during a routine traffic stop in Daly City, a suburb of San Francisco. A $15,000 felony warrant for narcotics possession had already been issued for Willis, so when the cop pulled him over, he was arrested on the spot.
The singer was free on $100,000 bail until he refused to face the music and skipped a court hearing in October. Willis wasn't off the radar for long. He was nabbed Mar. 26, when yet another traffic stop, this time in South San Francisco, turned into a drug bust, with police finding bags of cocaine in the car. Both Willis and the woman riding with him tried to give fake names to the arresting officer, but the attempted subterfuge did nothing but add a charge of giving false identification to a police officer to the drug-related counts he is facing.
To make matters no better, Willis' female companion, Staci Brandt, identified herself to the police as a prostitute, according to the Associated Press. She pleaded no contest to drug possession and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and probation.
Willis, one of the founding minds behind such peppy party staples as "Y.M.C.A." and "Macho Man," has been held without bail in Redwood City, California, since his arrest last month.
With the latest drug possession charges stemming from his Mar. 26 arrest, Willis now has three cases pending against him--there are also the cocaine and weapons possession charges from July 11 and a prior case involving probation violation and previous cocaine troubles.
Although Willis originally copped a plea after his July arrest that would have had him spending no more than 16 months in state prison, because he disappeared rather than show up for court, he's now facing five years.
The former Village Person is due back in court Apr. 18 so that the cases against him can be consolidated.
Because of a prior drug conviction from about 15 years ago, Willis is ineligible for a drug treatment diversion program, according to San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney Morley Pitt, who is prosecuting the cases.
Willis left the Village People in 1979 and was replaced by Ray Simpson, who dons the Police Officer's uniform to this day, alongside iconic band mates the Cowboy, the Soldier, the Construction Worker, the Native American and the Biker.