March 9, 2012 in Region

Facebook ‘friend’ offer exposes man’s other wife

Associated Press
 

TACOMA — A Washington state corrections officer has been charged with bigamy after Facebook discovered two women were connected to him and suggested they might want to be “friends.”

Pierce County prosecutors say Alan L. O’Neill married a woman in 2001, moved out in 2009, changed his name and remarried without divorcing wife No. 1.

Wife No. 1 recently found out about Wife No. 2 when Facebook detected their connection to O’Neill and suggested the friendship connection.

Wife No. 1 then called the defendant’s mother, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told The News Tribune.

“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.”’

Neither O’Neill nor his first wife had filed for divorce, according to charging documents. The name change came in December, and later that month he married his second wife.

O’Neill allegedly told Wife No. 1 not to tell anybody about his dual marriages, that he would fix it, the documents state.

Wife No. 1 alerted authorities.

“It’s not the crime of the century, but it is a crime,” Lindquist said.

“I can’t help but think Valentine’s Day must have been real stressful with two wives,” Lindquist told KOMO-TV.

O’Neill, 41, was previously known at Alan Fulk. He has worked as a Pierce County corrections officer for five years, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

He was placed on administrative leave after prosecutors charged him Thursday. He could face up to a year in jail if convicted.

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