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Sat, July 20

In deceit proposal: Feds say man wed stranger to stay in US

Melissa Anne Godshall and Robert J. Kennerly. (Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

Melissa Anne Godshall and Robert J. Kennerly. (Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Prosecutors say a couple was panhandling along a North Carolina road when a foreigner pulled over with a proposal for the woman: Marry him so he could stay in the country, and they’d receive $12,000 along with payments for a house and car.

Citing court records, The News & Observer reports that 31-year-old Melissa Anne Godshall accepted the offer from 44-year-old Levan Lomtatidze, a native of the country of Georgia.

Her boyfriend, 46-year-old Robert Kennerly, served as a witness during the marriage ceremony.

The U.S. attorney’s office says all three are now indicted on charges involving marriage fraud. News reports didn’t include comments in their defense.

HISTORY

In 2016, Kennerly and Godshall were arrested together on charges for manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine. Kennerley also faced charges involving misdemeanor child abuse and two counts of cruelty to animals. In the 2016 incident, two children — ages one and seven — were removed from the Raleigh home where a meth lab was discovered, Raleigh police said.

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