PITTSBURGH (AP) - A woman accused of marrying two other men while still married to a western Pennsylvania man has been charged with bigamy, according to state police.
Julia J. Bish, 34, of Hempfield, faced a preliminary hearing Tuesday on two misdemeanor bigamy charges.
Police said she is still married to Randy Bish, whom she married in June 1990 and with whom she has five children, and is also married to a man from Bolivia, N.C. Another brief marriage has been annulled.
Julia Bish did not immediately return a call seeking comment Sunday.
Randy Bish, who contacted state police Trooper Gregg Norton about the matter in June, has since filed for divorce, according to Bish and court documents.
"It was Father's Day," Randy Bish said. "I was using the computer at home. ... I expected to find love letters in there, maybe, but I was shocked."
Instead, he said, he found reservations for hotel honeymoon suites, messages detailing wedding plans and a marriage-license application from Las Vegas.
"Do I still love her? I'd be lying if I said I didn't," Randy Bish said. "But right now, after this mess, that's a very tough question to answer."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Staff Sergeant Mark Hunt had been alone for many years when he met a woman in an Internet chat room.
STAFF SGT. MARK HUNT, MARRIED ACCUSED BIGAMIST: I started falling in love with her pretty much within a week or so after I started talking to her, that's when I said, she's the one.
TUCHMAN: Sergeant Hunt is based in Missouri's Fort Leonard Wood, a 19-year veteran of the U.S. Army, but not a veteran of a truly loving relationship. That's the major reason he was so happy.
HUNT: She had asked me if I wanted to get married. I said, yes, of course, I do.
TUCHMAN: Mark Hunt and Julia Bish (ph) got married in Las Vegas last February. Sergeant Hunt's parents and brothers and sister were witnesses. The sergeant says plans were made for Julia Bish to move from Pennsylvania so the two could be together, but it didn't happen.
Instead, newlywed Mark Hunt received an e-mail from this man who said he has been married to Julia Bish for 15 years and has five children with her.
HUNT: I about had a coronary heart attack. I about died, but I still was in love with her. I didn't want to believe it.
TUCHMAN: But in December, Julia Bish was arrested on charges of bigamy.
HUNT: It basically destroyed me. I didn't know what to do no more. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't really eat. I started losing weight again.
TUCHMAN: Julia Bish admits she lived a secret life, not only marrying Sergeant Hunt, but another man in Las Vegas in 2002. She claims she did it to make herself safer from husband No. 1.
JULIA BISH, ACCUSED BIGAMIST: I left in a very abusive relationship, and I'm sorry that Mr. Bish is using this to control me. (This is in dispute, Bish may be lying about this to cover her own predatory behavior! If you are escaping dispute - you get married TWICE more? - Fighter)
TUCHMAN: Mr. Bish, who turned his wife in, says abuse allegations are untrue and adds...
RANDY BISH, FIRST HUSBAND: My only comment right now is that my only concern is for the children.
TUCHMAN: Julia Bish's attorney says she is not guilty because of a technicality.
LARRY BURNS, JULIA BISH'S ATTORNEY: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Pennsylvania has no jurisdiction over actions of people out in Las Vegas and they never have.
TUCHMAN: Is that true?
PROF. MICHAEL BROYDE, EMORY UNIV. SCHOOL OF LAW: If you are validly married to a person in Pennsylvania and then you validly marry another in Las Vegas, you have violated the bigamy statute. No question about it.
TUCHMAN: Sergeant Hunt says he hopes to get an annulment by the end of the month. And when he gets married again, not surprisingly, he is adamant that he'll know a lot more about the bride-to-be beforehand.
But despite everything that has happened, he hasn't ruled out that bride could be Julia Bish again, who tells CNN she loves Mark Hunt and wants him back.
Gary Tuchman, CNN, St. Robert, Missouri.
COOPER: The woman at the center of this family secret joins us now from Pittsburgh. Also with her tonight, her attorney Larry Burns.
Thanks very much for being with us, both of you, Julia and Larry. Julia, let me start off with you. Why did you marry two other people while you were still married to your husband in another state?
J. BISH: I was in a very abusive relationship. And for me, I thought it was a way out. Especially...
COOPER: What do you mean you thought it was a way out?
J. BISH: For me, marriage, it was all that I knew. And it was with my husband, Randy, a very controlling situation. And I thought if I married somebody else, that that person would keep me safe. Marriage was something -- it was harder to leave a wife than it is a girlfriend or fiancee.
J. BISH: And I thought if somebody...
COOPER: I understand that, OK, if that was the reason for husband No. 2, Lawrence Judah (ph) in June of 2002, why then a third husband?
J. BISH: Unfortunately, Mr. Judah wasn't able to help me. He had gotten himself tangled up in something and it didn't work out. And I met Mark, and I am very fortunate that I met Mark, because no matter what the situation is, I'm sorry that Mark got tangled up and I'm sorry that Mark got hurt. I wish I could change that, out of anything I wish I could change that.
COOPER: But you acknowledge -- this guy, Mark, the husband No. 3, you lied to him. You lied to him. You went through a whole wedding. All that was a lie, right?
J. BISH: Right. But I intended to be with Mark. And Mark, and also his family have been absolutely wonderful.
COOPER: Did you tell husband No. 2, Lawrence Judah, that you were married also?
J. BISH: After the fact.
COOPER: OK. So you lied to him, too.
J. BISH: Yes. I would have done anything to try to be safe, to get out of the situation and find myself in a better situation, one that I was safe in.
COOPER: Right. Just so -- we'd like to cover all the angles and all the bases, we talked to husband No. 1 who denies that it was a controlling or abusive relationship. We gave him the chance to talk tonight. He didn't want to. But he said that -- in fact, what he said about the controlling thing -- he said, would a controlling man allow his wife to go to Las Vegas by herself? That was his response. But I...
J. BISH: There's a great deal more to that.
COOPER: ... don't really want to get into sort of the nature of your relationship. I guess -- I mean, did you have any bad feelings about lying to two people who seemed to love you?
J. BISH: At the time, my focus was to get out. I didn't even really think about so much of what was going to happen other than I could get out. And I had planned to be with Mark.
COOPER: Let me ask you, Larry, is your defense really going to be "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," because, I mean, that's a tag line for a commercial?
BURNS: Yes, that's one way of stating it. Pennsylvania doesn't have jurisdiction. The second marriage, or whatever marriage, if it occurred, it occurred in Las Vegas. And that's where the jurisdiction would be. The marriage in Pennsylvania...
COOPER: Yes. But any state recognizes another state.
BURNS: No, that's not necessarily true. If they suspend your driving privileges in the state of Pennsylvania, they don't recognize if you go over to Ohio and get a driving permit...
COOPER: Right. We're not talking about driving. We're talking about marriage. And if someone gets married in one state -- anyway, it's for a court to decide. It's a strange case, to say the least. I'm sure, Larry, it's one of the stranger cases you have been involved with. We appreciate you joining us. And Julia, I appreciate you joining us as well. Thanks very much.
All this week, we're going to be exposing some of the other double lives that millions of Americans are living.
FEMALE CYBERPATH, BIGAMIST & PSYCHOPATH!!