'DR. PHIL' CASE
Fairfax Man Sentenced for Felony Bigamy
Tuesday, May 9, 2006
At least for the rest of this year, Charles "Ed" Hicks probably won't be getting married again.
The Fairfax County man, married seven times but divorced only five times, was sentenced yesterday to a year in prison for felony bigamy. A judge in Chesapeake, Va., gave Hicks credit for five months served, so he faces seven more months behind bars.
"At least for seven months, he won't be preying on innocent women," said Sandra Goldin Hicks, his seventh wife, who lives in the Alexandria area.
Hicks, 62, began marrying when he was 21, and he sometimes didn't manage to divorce one wife before wedding another. He has three grown children from two marriages. He hasn't spoken to one of the children in 20 years.
Hicks's fifth marriage, in 1995, was legal, records show. But his sixth known wedding, to Julie Flint in California in 1997, occurred a few weeks before marriage No. 5 was concluded.
Then he discovered the Internet. He is "in love with love," according to posts he made to an online dating service. Hicks met the woman who would become wife No. 7, Sandra, online and began dating her while living in Chesapeake with Julie Hicks. He and Sandra married in May 2003, and Hicks remains married to Julie and Sandra. Both are pursuing divorces.
Sandra Hicks discovered that her husband was married to someone else in April 2005. Chesapeake authorities eventually indicted Ed Hicks, alleging that his sixth wedding was illegal, but by then, no one knew where he was. In December, after Julie and Sandra Hicks appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show to discuss the case, a woman in North Carolina recognized Hicks as the man dating her sister and called police.
Hicks pleaded guilty in March to one count of felony bigamy. Julie and Sandra Hicks testified in Chesapeake Circuit Court yesterday about the emotional and financial damage they say they have suffered.
Julie Hicks said it was the first time she had seen her husband in 4 1/2 years. "It was kind of surreal," she said. "I didn't look at him."
Hicks faced a minimum two-year sentence for felony bigamy. Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn imposed a five-year term but suspended four years.