Texas Judge Forces Man to Marry Girlfriend or Face Jail Time

An East Texas judge handed out a life sentence to a man who appeared in criminal court for having been in a physical altercation. But this life sentence was not the kind you’d expect. The judge ordered 21-year-old Josten Bundy to marry his 19-year-old girlfriend within 30 days, or he would face a 15-day jail sentence.

KLTV reported that Bundy had to appear in court after he punched his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The ex had reportedly made disrespectful remarks about the girlfriend, Elizabeth Jaynes, which prompted Bundy to get physical.

“Is she worth it?” Judge Rogers reportedly asked Bundy during the hearing. Rogers then said that Bundy could take probation or a 15-day stint in jail.

Afraid of losing his job if he went to jail, Bundy accepted the unusual terms of probation. The full terms of probation include two years of counselling, write a Bible verse 25 times a day, and of course getting married.

While the couple say they do not regret getting married, the case does call into question the legality of issuing marriage as a sentencing.

They also hope to organize a more traditional wedding reception in the future–one that could actually include friends, family and loved ones this time.