By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
The Fairfax County man who has been married seven times -- and divorced five -- was indicted in Chesapeake, Va., yesterday on a charge of felony bigamy, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Charles E. "Ed" Hicks, 61, previously was charged in Fairfax with marrying his seventh wife, Sandra Goldin Hicks of the Alexandria area, without divorcing his sixth wife, Julie Flint Hicks, with whom he lived in Chesapeake in the late 1990s.
Then things got complicated. Fairfax prosecutors realized that Hicks's web of marriages and divorces meant that the seventh marriage wasn't valid -- necessitating the dismissal of the Fairfax bigamy charge in September.
So Julie Hicks turned to Chesapeake authorities to focus on her simple quandary: When she married Ed Hicks in April 1997, he was still married to his fifth wife, Rose Marie Sewell of San Antonio, according to both women and court records. Chesapeake prosecutors agreed and obtained an indictment in Circuit Court.
"I think there's sufficient evidence to go forward with a bigamy charge," said Chesapeake Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Derek K. Wagner. He declined to be more specific.
Hicks did not return messages left at his work and on his cell phones yesterday. His attorney, Richard S. Simpson, also did not return a call.
"I'm thrilled," Julie Hicks said from Layton, Utah, where she lives. "I just hope they get him arrested."
Sandra Hicks, who unraveled her husband's adventure through 40 years and seven trips down the aisle, has become an activist against men who prey on women on the Internet and who marry repeatedly without consequence. She is still married to Hicks, pending a Jan. 4 court date to obtain either a divorce or an annulment.
"I'm elated," Sandra Hicks said, "because I don't want him to do this to someone else. For all I know, he could be married again, the way the laws are. Hopefully, justice will be served."
Sandra Hicks had first alerted Fairfax police to Ed Hicks's actions, and court records show he has married four times while still married to someone else. He has three grown children with two of his wives.
When Sandra Hicks married him in May 2003, he was -- and still is -- married to Julie Hicks. But Fairfax prosecutors reasoned that because the marriage to Julie Hicks was also allegedly bigamous, it was invalid and therefore could not be the basis for a bigamy charge involving Sandra Hicks.
Sandra Hicks and Julie Hicks have been interviewed for an episode of the "Dr. Phil" TV show that is scheduled to air Monday.