A Florida woman is pressing charges against her husband after learning about his new marriage while sitting in church (video below).
Patrick Celicourt, 49, of Apopka, Florida, is facing bigamy felony charges after his new marriage was announced in Pine Hills church while his wife of 22 years sat in the congregation, WESH 2 News reported.
“Your whole life, your whole life goes down the drain,” Celicourt's neighbor told the news station. “It's very sad.”
According to the police report, Celicourt’s wife said people laughed when the announcement was made. She said she felt so “embarrassed and belittled” that she had to exit the church.
“It's not humorous at all because it's her dignity, her integrity,” the neighbor added. “Her life, everything.”
Celicourt’s wife presented her husband’s two marriage licenses as proof of bigamy to investigators.
Carlos Martin, of the Sanchez Law Group, said bigamy suspects are rarely prosecuted.
“I have had cases in which they’re in a marriage and then they go ahead and get married again,” Martin told WFTV, adding that he checked for cases in Florida counties dating back to 2000. “Only 14 defendants have been prosecuted for bigamy and only one has been sentenced to any time, which was nine months.”
But Celicourt is also facing other charges.
An affidavit written by the couple’s daughter, Ruth Celicourt, details how after his second marriage, her father tried to sell their home in Apopka without telling the family. Martin said that’s probably why Celicourt is also facing charges of falsifying official statements.
“Since he's trying to get rid of marital possessions, that may be a reason why the prosecutor decided to go ahead and press charges,” Martin said.
Celicourt was arrested on Sept. 23. He has since posted bond and was released from prison.
Celiciourt had filed for divorce with his first wife in June, according to WFTV. He got his marriage license with his new wife on March 9, but that marriage is now void.
“In the eyes of the law, they are not married,” Martin said. “He’s still married to the first person.”
Celicourt’s new wife now attends the same Pine Hills church.