Soon after Sandra Hicks discovered that her husband of two years was still married to his previous wife, she walked into the Mount Vernon police station.
"I felt like a fool," she said. "I had never walked into a police station my entire life. And I walked in and I said, I have reason to believe my husband is a bigamist."
Her husband, Charles Edward "Ed" Hicks, 61, was indicted by a Fairfax grand jury Monday, July 18 for bigamy. The next day, Hicks' attorney, Richard S. Simpson, requested a bench trial be set for the fall.
"Nobody should have to go through this. I feel so betrayed, I feel so used," said Sandra Hicks, 49. "I thought he loved me — he didn't love me, he didn't love any of us."
Ed Hicks had at least seven wives, said Sandra Hicks, who added that she believed he had failed to divorce a few of them before getting married again.
She characterized Ed Hicks as an Internet predator, and said many single adult women are vulnerable.
"We hear about Internet predators for children, I don't think we're hearing very much about Internet predators for middle age women at all. And that bothers me," she said.
Meeting men over the Internet also leaves some women vulnerable to financial scams, as well as bigamists, said Sandra Hicks.
"This is a prevalent problem that we just don't hear about. Women are too ashamed to come forward, they don't want to speak up."
Ed Hicks waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on July 1. He declined to discuss his version of the story that day, although Simpson said they would defend the charges and "set the record straight."
<b>SANDRA HICKS</b> is past her anger, she said, but she wants to make sure that her husband doesn't do this to another woman. She wants to help make sure other women don't fall prey to unscrupulous men.
But, if they do, she has advice.
"Come forward, talk about it, talk about it, expose them," she said. "Some woman out there may say, 'Oh my God, I just went out with him last night.
"I know it's embarrassing, but why should you be embarrassed, you haven't done anything wrong? I have done nothing wrong except love somebody who totally misrepresented every facet of his life to me."
Sandra Hicks attended the preliminary hearing in June, but didn't go to the two-minute hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Tuesday, July 19.
"I loved this man very much, or what he portrayed himself to be, and now, I don't hate him, I can't say I hate him, but I'm disgusted," she said.