Alan O’Neill, 42, received a suspended sentence from Superior Court Beverly Grant. O’Neill will be on probation for one year. The charge is a gross misdemeanor.
His future employment as a county jailer remains up in the air. O’Neill is on unpaid leave. Sheriff Paul Pastor, who oversees the jail, will evaluate the results of an internal affairs investigation before deciding whether to allow O’Neill to come back to work, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Prosecutors charged O’Neill in March with one count of bigamy after his first wife learned of his second wife through a Facebook “people you may know” notification and alerted authorities. The second woman’s profile photo showed her and O’Neill dressed in fancy clothes and standing near a wedding cake.
O’Neill’s lawyer, Philip Thornton, told Grant his client trusted a neighbor to process his divorce through Lincoln County but the neighbor did not file the paperwork.
“Mr. O’Neill failed to follow through on that,” Thornton said.
O’Neill since has gotten his marriage to his second wife annulled and is divorcing his first, Thornton said.
“He is extremely embarrassed and remorseful,” the attorney said.
O’Neill, who was accompanied to court by the second woman, told Grant he never meant to commit a crime.
“I’ve never done anything intentionally wrong in my life,” he said.
His first wife appears willing to let bygones be bygones. She filed a letter with the court in which she wrote she believed O’Neill had suffered enough because of the media coverage of the case.
“He just made a bad decision that hurt a few people’s feelings and (brought) embarrassment to himself,” she wrote.