A woman is accused of marrying her seventh husband before divorcing her fourth.

WATERVILLE (AP) – Rebecca Berry was still married to husband No. 4 when she tied the knot to No. 7 at Waterville City Hall.

Now Berry, also known as Rebecca Dennis, 32, is charged with bigamy and willful falsification of public records.

Bigamy, also known as solemnization, is a civil charge. Willful falsification of public records is a Class E crime, punishable by a fine of $100 to $1,000.

Waterville is apparently a popular place to commit bigamy. In the past six months the city certified 12 marriages, three of which were found to be bigamous.

Waterville Police Detective Daniel Goss said Nelson Dennis, husband No. 7, was surprised Wednesday to learn of his wife’s busy past.

“He was upset,” Goss said. “He’s just been told that his marriage is nonexistent because his blushing bride lied to him.”

Police learned of the bigamy from a clerk at the state vital records registry, who had tried to enter Rebecca Dennis’ marriage certificate into the system.

The clerk found that Berry, whose last name is listed as Dennis in state records, has been married seven times to a total of six men and already was married when she married Dennis.

“She was married in 1987 and divorced in July, 1991,” Goss said. “In August, 1991, she was remarried and got divorced in March 1992. In April 1992, she was married and then divorced in December, 1993. Then she was married in March, 1994 and was not legally divorced, but got married in 1996, 2000 and 2002.”

Berry and husband number seven, Nelson Dennis, went to City Hall on Dec. 2, 2002, and were married by City Clerk Patti A. Dubois.

Dubois said that when they arrived at her office, Berry showed her divorce papers from 1992 and swore she was divorced.

Nelson Dennis, a cab driver, said he believes that Berry did not know she was already married when she married him and attributed the mix-up to her epilepsy.

Rebecca Berry told the Morning Sentinel that she didn’t realize she was still married when she married Nelson Dennis.

“I had a real bad (epileptic episode) in 2001 and I have a lot of memory loss because of it,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair. If I was still married, I think she (the clerk) should have told me.”

She said she was surprised when she learned from her husband that she was already married – to someone else. She said she hasn’t been with her former husband for several years, so the marriage should be legally void.

“This is just bogus to me,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of people get away with all kinds of stuff. I do good for myself. I try to do good and I didn’t do anything and they just charge me like a son-of-a-gun.”

She is scheduled to appear July 16 in Waterville District Court.



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