Chesterfield man charged with bigamy - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Chesterfield man charged with bigamy

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Isaac Custalow Jr. Isaac Custalow Jr.

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield man faces bigamy charges, accused of marrying four woman.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Isaac Custalow Jr. faces three felony charges after police say he married four women without divorcing any of them. 

One of his wives says says she was swept off her feet when she first met Custalow. Just eight days later, they were married - or at least that's what she thought. She says everything changed the moment they signed their marriage license.

Erika Berger is the best friend of Custalow's second wife. She says her friend only recently found out her marriage was a sham.

"She told me, 'oh I was married but not anymore, we've moved on'," Berger said. "All of a sudden she gets a call from a detective saying, 'hey, he's been charged with bigamy'."

One of Custalow's wives called our newsroom and asked to give her side of the story.

We scheduled an interview and when we showed up, she got cold feet. She says she's afraid to go on camera because she doesn't know what Custalow might do.

She paints a very vivid picture of a Prince Charming that says all the right things when they first met, but after they were married, he becomes a much different, and more controlling person.

"She's been scared to even go to court and come out of court," Berger said. "I've been there for moral support for her so that she doesn't feel threatened and she's scared that he could find her again."

Custalow pled guilty to bigamy in Chesterfield in April and now faces similar charges in Henrico and Virginia Beach.

NBC12 Legal Expert Steve Benjamin says bigamy cases are rare because it's obvious to most people you can't be married to more than one person at a time.

"He's got to understand it's prohibited," Benjamin said. "Everybody understands you can't remarry until you're divorced and this guy apparently was already under indictment for bigamy when he married wife number four. This is bizarre."

We reached out to Custalow's attorney for comment but he did not return our phone call.

Custalow will be sentenced in Chesterfield in November.

Bigamy is a Class 4 felony and carries a possible prison sentence of two to ten years. 

Right now there is no central database to tell if someone applying for a marriage license is already married. 

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