Germain Gardea Nearly Charged with Bigamy After Being Married to Two Wives for Three Years

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A man who was married to two women for nearly three years has escaped bigamy charges after a jury decided not to indict him in December.

Germain Gardea, 38, of Arlington, Texas, was married to Jennifer Saldivar and had a son with her. He was at their home in Arlington five days a week, but traveled to Grapevine to spend weekends with his other wife, Leslie Gardea.

He told Saldivar that he worked on weekends at Aviator Air Centers at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, which required him to travel. 

Leslie worked away from her town during the week so did not question his whereabouts. 

It wasn't until Leslie discovered that Germain was still paying the bills of a woman she thought was his ex-wife that things became clear. 

She called Jennifer Saldivar and asked her what was going on. Saldivar told her she was married to Germain, and the two were shocked.

Saldivar said she felt "utter devastation" at her husband's actions.

"Utter devastation that the person I trusted and basically promised a life with could defraud me, betray me as deeply as he did," she said.

"He stated he just got involved too deep."

His divorce from Saldivar was finalized on Thursday.

Robert Bush, Germain's lawyer, said the man is aware of his wrongdoings and knew it would happen eventually.

"He doesn't deny it. He's apologized. He's apologized to everyone, and not just because he got caught. He knew it was going to come to an end. Common sense tells you that can only last so long," Bush said.

Germain worked as a flight instructor. He created fake divorce documents online to explain that he was divorced and he also filed Saldivar's taxes for her, claiming she was a single woman.

Germain now has to pay his ex-wife $6,000 in lawyer's fees and child support and must have counseling with his son.

In 2004, he and Saldivar were married and had a baby two years later. In 2009, he asked for a divorce, but they never went through with it.

Three hours after he filed the divorce petition from Saldivar, he married Leslie.

He was not charged with bigamy because time had run out for him to be reported, as  the clock starts ticking on the day the second marriage takes place, not when someone finds out about the bigamy.

"When it became clear that there was an issue with the statute of limitations on the bigamy charge, prosecutors worked diligently to find alternate charges to support the allegations," Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said.

"The case was subsequently presented to a grand jury on Dec. 20. The grand jury heard the evidence and the circumstances but ultimately made a decision not to indict."

Leslie and Germain are still married and now live together in Grapevine.

Sources: Daily Mail, Star-Telegram