A greater Bluffton woman is accused of having three husbands in two states after her latest husband accused her of fraud.
Rachel Christina Newman, 35, of Cape Jasmine Street was arrested Dec. 7 on a bigamy charge after her Bluffton husband reported she had used his name to open credit card and cell phone accounts, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
She was released from the county jail the following day on her own recognizance. Attempts to reach her have been unsuccessful.
Newman, who reportedly uses several aliases and Social Security numbers, has three husbands -- none of whom she has officially divorced, according to the sheriff's report and copies of marriage certificates. The husbands are as follows:
• Alvin L. Ashley Jr. of St. Michaels, Ariz., whom she married in November 1999. His name is tattooed on her right calf, the sheriff's report said.
• Paul Legler of Chandler, Ariz., whom she married in August 2003.
• Michael Newman, 36, of greater Bluffton, whom she married in June 2005.
Michael Newman, who declined comment, recently became suspicious of his wife when he began receiving bills for cell phones and credit cards he hadn't opened, according to the sheriff's report. He tracked down her past husbands on the Internet, the sheriff's report said, and he filed charges against his wife, resulting in the county's first bigamy case in at least four years.
While researching his wife's past, Michael Newman learned she is married to Alvin Ashley, according to the sheriff's report.
Attached to the sheriff's report was a report from a private investigator in Colorado that said Rachel Newman forged a check on Ashley's father's bank account and opened credit cards in his name, running up $25,000 in debt.
Ashley plans to file for divorce but has not filed papers because he has been unable to find her, the sheriff's report said.
Rachel Newman also is married to Paul Legler, the sheriff's report stated. Newman met Legler on the Internet and, within a short period, the two married in Las Vegas in August 2003, according to Legler's sister, Julie Jorgensen of Mesa, Ariz.
Attempts to reach Legler for this article were unsuccessful. Jorgensen hired a private investigator, whose report was included with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report.
Rachel Newman requested money from Legler and his family, according to the private investigator's report. She said she had cancer and needed $20,000 for chemotherapy. She said she had a miscarriage. She then wanted $45,000 for an adoption and said the baby had died the day after his birth, the report said.
In each case, Legler or his parents helped her, the report said. The report from the private investigator indicates all of the reasons she gave for needing money were false, and that she gave some of the same reasons for needing money in previous relationships.
Rachel Newman disappeared from Arizona and then married Michael Newton, 36, of greater Bluffton in June 2005, according to the sheriff's report.
If convicted of bigamy, a felony, she faces up to five years in prison.