For most people, one spouse at a time is enough, but Frank Ernest Blake, Jr., is accused of getting married three times without seeking a divorce.
Blake, Jr. of Henrico, Virginia, has been charged with two counts of bigamy and two counts of forgery. Police said the latter charges were for forging marriage licenses, WTVR reported. He faces two to 10 years in prison.
Blake, Jr. said that he was first married in 2001, but that his wife filed for divorce after several years. “I got papers in the mail saying we were divorced, but evidently you get two sets of papers. I signed my name and everything on it” Blake told WTVR.
He later married another woman for two weeks and claims he wasn’t aware he had to get it annulled before marrying his third and current wife, Jessica Blake.
“I was married to the first girl and thought I was divorced. I mean when you get divorced with somebody you got the right to go marry somebody else, and I thought it was legal to do. I never thought number two was even, I mean I thought it was a voided marriage, I didn’t think it was a real marriage. It was only a marriage for like a week man, It was nothing. Then I met Jessica and I went and married Jessica because I love her,” Blake, Jr. told WRIC in a jail interview.
Jessica claimed her husband was unaware of what was happening. “He doesn’t believe in having more than one wife, he is not a polygamist, this was an honest mistake and this man did not believe at all he was married to this woman,” she said, adding that she faults the system for allowing this to happen.
“How do you allow someone to issue a marriage license when you have their social security number you have everything, all of their information. If they were married to someone else why wouldn’t that pop up and say flag no you cant marry this person you are still married to this person,” she said.
Blake, Jr. said he thinks the charges are being brought against him out of spite. “It’s embarrassing and I don’t see how it even got to this,” Blake, Jr. said. “I really did not know I was breaking the law.”