FORT BEND COUNTY, TX – A man from Fort Bend county is accused of bigamy. An indictment against Patrick Ronald Smith, 62, was handed up by a Fort Bend Grand Jury on February 10, 2014.
Toni Zimmerman of Washington state says she’s been married to Smith for 34 years. She says their marriage is now in legal separation. She says she’s Catholic and does not believe in divorce but needed the separation so she’s not responsible for her husband’s credit card bills.
Smith moved to Texas a few years back and he got remarried to Janet Mills Maun. The second marriage ended in divorce and Maun wanted a part of her husband’s retirement as part of the settlement. That’s when the two wives discovered each other and when Zimmerman felt victimized by Maun’s insistence on taking part of Smith’s retirement.
Zimmerman says bigamy is a crime that happens more often than most people think.
“People need to stand-up for themselves and get this out there because it is a lot like identity theft and fraud. It can be all mixed together.”
She says a judge invalidated the marriage and Maun’s right to any of Smith’s retirement benefits, but Zimmerman says far to many victims don’t fight and just settle just to keep things quiet. She hopes more victims will speak out and fight.
“Because of people not being willing to report it, it does happen.”
Patrick Smith is free on a $10,000 bond as he awaits trial.