A Virginia man has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars after pleading no contest to a bigamy charge.
Frank Blake was accused of marrying his second wife before the divorce with his first spouse had been completed, and also of still being married to his second wife when he married his third, media reports said.
Blake received a five-year sentence from the judge, but the final three-and-a-half years were suspended.
Investigators became aware of the case when two of Blake’s wives turned up at the same time to visit him in prison in September 2012.
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“I want to apologize to all y'all in the courtroom,” Blake said, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
“I didn't know I was breaking the law at all. You can put me on a lie detector,” he added.
The Henrico resident was arrested in July, and told police he married his first wife in 2001. That marriage lasted several years, before she filed for divorce.
“I got papers in the mail saying we were divorced, but evidently you get two sets of papers. I signed my name and everything on it,” Blake told WTVR.
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Blake reportedly got married to his second wife the same day. But this marriage only lasted a couple of weeks, and Blake claimed to WTVR he didn’t even think it was real.
“I thought the marriage wasn’t real and that’s why I got married to Jessica,” Blake added. “I still love her and that’s who I want to be with.”
Jessica is Blake’s third wife. They married in 2014.
During the trial, Blake’s defense attorney argued there was evidence the women were aware of Blake’s marital status, and added his client had mental health problems.
An Henrico County Police spokesman told WTVR that just two arrests for bigamy had been made over the past decade.