A Texas man and his girlfriend say they are being forced down the aisle after a judge ordered them to get married or face jail time.
Last month, a Smith County judge ordered Josten Bundy to marry his 19-year-old girlfriend Elizabeth Jaynes within 30 days as part of a probation agreement, according to KLTV. Bundy had gotten into a physical altercation with Jaynes' ex-boyfriend in February. The ex-boyfriend suffered no medical injuries, but still sued Bundy for assault.
If Bundy declined the judge's proposition, he would face 15 days in jail.
"That would have been fine and I asked if I could call my job [to let them know]," Bundy told KLTV. "The judge told me 'nope, that's not how this works.'"
Bundy was also ordered to write Bible verses and get counseling. Jaynes said she was embarrassed after hearing the judge's proposal.
"My face was so red, people behind me were laughing," said Jaynes. "[The judge] made me stand up in court."
Bundy said he was afraid of losing his job if he went to jail for two weeks, so the couple had no choice but to get a marriage license instead. While the couple had talked about getting married six months into dating, they are upset that Rogers took away the opportunity to have the wedding that they wanted.
"It was just going to be kind of pieced together, I didn't even have a white dress," Jaynes told KLTV.
"My father didn't get to go, and that really bothers me," Bundy said. "I know he would have liked to be there ... none of my sisters got to show up, it was such short notice, I couldn't get it together."
Some legal experts say that the order is illegal.
"To say you're not going to be criminally punished if you get married is way out of left field," attorney Blake Bailey told KLTV. "It sounds like the old days of shotgun weddings, but not even the judge is capable of enforcing, what he thinks is best for some people in his court."
The judge hasn't commented publicly on the sentencing. Bundy and Jaynes say that they plan to have a bigger wedding in the future when they can save enough money.
Texas judge orders man to marry girlfriend or face jail time
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