By Adam Lynn, McClatchy Newspapers –
TACOMA, Wash. — Here’s a recipe for trouble:
A woman you left three years ago but remain married to gets a recommendation from Facebook to “friend” a woman she doesn’t know. Unbeknownst to her, you married the mystery woman after changing your name. Wife No. 1 clicks on the link. The mystery woman’s profile photo shows you and her in nice clothes standing next to a wedding cake.
Wife No. 1 then calls your mother.
It allegedly happened to a Pierce County, Wash., corrections officer, who now is on unpaid administrative leave after prosecutors charged him with bigamy Thursday.
Alan L. O’Neill, 41, has been summoned to court March 22 to answer the felony charge.
O’Neill, previously known as Alan Fulk, has worked as a Pierce County corrections officer for five years, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.
According to charging documents, Fulk married his first wife in 2001. He reportedly moved out eight years later, but neither he nor she filed for divorce, the records show.
In December he petitioned to change his last name to O’Neill, the charging documents state. Later that month, he married his second wife.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said Wife No. 1 recently found out about Wife No. 2 when Facebook — thinking the two woman might want to share a friendship because of their connection to O’Neill — recommended she “friend” the other woman.
Wife No. 1 then placed her call to the defendant’s mother, Lindquist said.
“An hour later the defendant arrived at (Wife No. 1’s) apartment, and she asked him several times if they were divorced,” court records show. “The defendant said, ‘No, we are still married.’”
O’Neill then allegedly told Wife No. 1 not to tell anybody about his dual marriages, that he would fix it, the documents state.
Wife No. 1 apparently alerted authorities, who used records from the Auditor’s Office and District Court to suss out O’Neill’s alleged duplicity, court records show.
“It’s not the crime of the century, but it is a crime,” Lindquist said.