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Wives succeed in arrest of man on bigamy charge

The women, living in New Port Richey and Japan, say their husband is the same man.

By THOMAS LAKE
Published January 31, 2007


NEW PORT RICHEY - The police came for Jeffrey Scott in the dark and drizzle of Sunday morning, summoned by his conspiring wives. He rode to jail in his Family Guy pajama pants.

His second wife watched from a parked car down the street. She sat there and waited while they arrested him, just to be sure, and when the patrol car drove by, she saw his face through the glass.

She drove home and fired up the computer and sent an e-mail to a woman she has never met, the woman who married Scott before she did. A few minutes later, the woman e-mailed back. Seven thousand miles apart, the wives rejoiced.

Nine months after his second wife went to the authorities, Scott, 32, a welder, was charged with bigamy. It's a felony. If convicted, he could spend as much as five years in prison.

The tale goes back to 1996, when Scott worked at the U.S. Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, and met a civilian dental assistant named Junko Segawa. They started dating, and the next year, they married in Honolulu.

Five years later, they moved to Spring Hill. In interviews with the Times, each one blamed the decision on the other. But while Segawa was trapped in the house without a driver's license, her husband was out on the town.

One night at a bar in New Port Richey, he ran into a woman he knew from Gulf High School. They started dating, and in 2005, Nicole Ames and Scott married.

Segawa had gone back to Japan in 2003 - as best the women can tell, soon after Scott met Ames. Segawa said Scott had promised to follow her. He denied any such promise. He said she promised to execute their divorce. She said they are married to this day.

Ames said Scott told her before their marriage that he and Segawa were divorced. He showed her papers printed in Japanese that seemed to prove it. But she later found the same papers on the Internet. She said they turned out to be blank forms.

After that, she and Segawa started e-mailing and comparing notes. They united against Scott. Ames went to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office in April 2006, and after nearly nine months of investigation, the agency obtained a warrant for Scott's arrest.

Segawa still lives in Japan. She said her relationship with Scott cost her nearly $80,000 in savings and most of her possessions. "I feel so embarrassed," she said Monday.

Ames has annulled her marriage with Scott. She is keeping Segawa's cat, Blue, until Segawa can return for him.

Scott, of 6025 Grand Blvd., was released on $2,500 bail Sunday. He said his attorney has advised him against talking to the media. But back in June in an interview with the Times, he said, "One wife's enough. Who the hell wants two?"

Thomas Lake can be reached toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6245, or at tlake@sptimes.com.