DOVER — A Maine man is charged with marrying multiple women as part of a scheme designed to exploit their assets.
Michael Middleton, 43, of Old Orchard Beach, faces up to 7 years in prison on the Class B felony charge of bigamy, the crime of having a spouse and knowingly marrying another person.
Prosecutors allege Middleton married Alicia Grant in Dover while also being married to Katherine Lashley, from Georgia, and Kassandra Shipley, from Alabama.
Assistant County Attorney Joachim Barth argues Middleton entered into the relationships with the intention of ripping the women off.
Barth said Middleton was charged with bigamy as a way to prevent Middleton from victimizing more women. Since he had access to the marital accounts, Middleton was not charged with theft.
Barth said the investigation began when Grant made a phone call that was answered by a woman who said she was Middleton’s wife. Grant then contacted the police to say Middleton had victimized her.
Barth said initial investigations reveal Middleton may have had more victims, based on Middleton’s marital records.
In addition to prison time, Middleton faces up to $4,000 in fines if found guilty of his alleged crime.
Middleton was indicted on the bigamy charge Jan. 18 at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 7.