'Fake pastor' with at least 10 wives thrown in jail for marrying two at same time

'Fake pastor' with at least 10 wives thrown in jail for marrying two at same time


A fake pastor who had at least 10 wives has been thrown in jail after marrying two women. 

 

Orlando Coleman visited black churches across the US under the guise of a travelling bishop, collecting spouses as he went. 

 

The 51-year-old would introduce himself to new congregations as a member of the clergy, and was able to dupe at least 10 different women into marrying him. 

 

Coleman, from Houston, had presented himself as the founder of several churches as well as a Pentecostal preacher on social media. 

 

Despite pleading guilty to bigamy in July 2023 and being placed on probation for marrying two women simultaneously, he wedded another woman two months later.

 

Now, he has been put behind bars for three years for marrying multiple women since 2019.

 

 

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said: “At the heart of this repeat offender’s schemes was a plan to defraud women and take advantage of them for financial gain. 

 

“This man used the church to camouflage his scams and hide from any accountability or responsibility.”

 

In Texas bigamy is defined as being married to more than one person at a time and carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

 

Coleman’s web of deceit started to unravel in 2021 when he married a woman in Houston, but his new wife saw he was receiving money from another woman in Virginia. When his then-current wife contacted the woman from Virginia it was revealed that she too was married to Coleman. Coleman’s Houston wife then contacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office with the revelation, who in turn launched an investigation and filed bigamy charges. 

 

In July 2023, Coleman pleaded guilty to bigamy in exchange for three years of deferred adjudication probation.

 

However, just two months later, while still married to the woman in Virginia, Coleman tied the knot again with another woman in Kentucky, committing another offense of bigamy. 

 

Upon learning about Coleman’s new marriage, prosecutors from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office moved to revoke his probation. 

 

In a hearing on March 11, a judge sentenced Coleman to three years in prison. 

 

Prosecutors say Coleman married the women for housing and financial security. After introducing himself as a Protestant pastor or bishop, Coleman would propose marriage. If a woman accepted, he would move in with her and allow her to foot the cost of his housing and food. 

 

“That’s the only thing he had to offer and to validate his word – the proposal to marry – that was something big,” Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Goussen told The New York Times. “Getting proposed to was a big gesture for these women, and that corroborated his guise that he’s a godly person.”

 

Some of the women filed for divorce after Coleman fled to another state. 

 

Coleman is currently being held at the Harris County Jail.

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