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Wedding Forfeited Over Rape Charge

July 31, 2002

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) _ A couple who won a free wedding with their story of love amid financial hardship have given up the prize because the groom faces child rape charges.

Dennis Cataloni, 31, and Kristie Weatherford, 22, voluntarily withdrew after The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro learned about the charges.

The newspaper was one of the sponsors of the contest that awarded them a $3,100 wedding.

Cataloni and Weatherford said in their entry letter that they’d had to cancel multiple wedding dates because they couldn’t afford a wedding that could accommodate both families. They were chosen over five other contestants but withdrew last week.

Cataloni pleaded innocent after being indicted in April on six counts of rape of a child. The alleged violations occurred between December 1991 and December 1999 and involved a girl who was 7 in 1991, according to court records. A hearing is set for Sept. 10.

Cataloni’s attorney, Ted Koban, said the charges are vague. He said Weatherford knew about Cataloni’s court case before the contest and was standing behind him.

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