Brigitte Van Nice, a deputy clerk in a
rural Iowa county, is expected to plead not guilty to filing an
illegal Iowa marriage certificate.
Joab Penney and Joseph Parker of
Florida said a Google search led them to Van Nice, who mailed them a
marriage license application and told the couple they could marry in
Iowa without coming to the state.
Van Nice, who has an ordination
certificate from an online ministry program, received $150 to marry
Penney and Parker. She told colleagues that she performed the
ceremony at the truck stop where she had met the couple in February.
The men said they never stepped foot in Iowa, one of 6 states where
gay couples can legally marry.
Penney, 28, learned that he was not
legally married when he contacted an attorney to get a divorce.
“I was pretty upset,” he
told the AP. “What she did was wrong.”
Van Nice is accused of forging the
signatures of two witnesses on the marriage certificate. A criminal
prosecutor this week added a criminal count of tampering with records
to the two counts of forgery and one count of perjury Van Nice
to the AP, Van Nice's attorney said Tuesday that she'll plead not
guilty in coming days.