Grand Rapids man charged with polygamy

4:56 PM, Mar 17, 2011   |    comments
Richard Barton, Jr.
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MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM)-- A 34-year-old Michigan man is being held in the Muskegon County jail on charges of polygamy.

Police arrested Richard Leon Barton Thursday. He's accused of marrying a Grand Rapids woman in July of 2010, despite already being married to another woman in Rhode Island.

Authorities first learned about Barton when his first wife contacted them.  She apparently found his new wedding photos on Facebook. Police say Barton married his first wife after meeting her online in 2003.  She told police he left for work one day and never returned home.  She later discovered he was wanted on a parole violation in Michigan and he had been sent to prison.

Barton's first wife told police they discussed getting a divorce but it never happened.  She says she became suspicious when Barton 'defriended her' on Facebook.  She eventually came across the new wedding photos when she clicked through the pictures of mutual Facebook Friends.

Polygamy is a felony which carries a penalty of four years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.


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