Live 5 News Investigates: Summerville woman charged with bigamy

Published: Jan. 7, 2014 at 10:25 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2014 at 11:00 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Summerville woman has been arrested on bigamy charges six months after one of her alleged husbands came to Live 5 News, asking us to investigate.

Forty six year old Dale Skinner was arrested last Friday by Richland County Sheriff's deputies.

Court records show that Skinner and her alleged husband Paul Harmon Jr. were originally married in that county.

Harmon says he and his Skinner separated in 2009 and that he had planned to remarry.

When he went down to the Charleston County Courthouse to get a copy of his divorce decree, Harmon said he got the shock of his life, finding out that not only was he still married, but that his wife Dale apparently was also married to another man at the same time.

"I still haven't come to grips with the fact that I'm involved in this and that I discovered all of this," said Harmon. "I'm still in shock and awe that this person would have the audacity to do something like this, not just to me, but to other people."

Based on what he learned, Harmon went to local authorities to try to have Dale arrested for bigamy.

Harmon was told he would have to file a report with the Richland County Sheriff's Office because that's the county where he and Dale got married.

Deputies arrested the now married Dale Skinner and charged her with one count of bigamy.

"Why? What would motivate you to do something like this, why?" asked Harmon.

Today, we went to Dale Skinner's house to get her side of the story.

Skinner said she is innocent.

"I don't appreciate you showing up here when I have divorce papers that prove me innocent, innocent completely," Skinner said.

Skinner offered to show us the papers, but before I could see them a man ordered us to go away.

Charleston family court attorney Nathan Senn says for Skinner and Harmon to get a divorce, they would have to go through several steps, including having a final hearing in front of a judge and filing a form with the state department of health.

"You would have to go through the formal process of actually obtaining a divorce and if she didn't do that and went and married other men, that could very well be a felony," Senn said.

Harmon wants to move on with his life.

"I can't get married. I cannot move forward with my life, take the next step in my life with a new wife until I get a divorce."

We tried to contact the attorney Skinner claims is representing her, but he didn't return our calls.

If convicted, Skinner faces six months to five years in prison.

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