Divorce attorneys in Pasadena often caution clients about what they choose to post on Facebook because inevitably anything scandalous or questionable that they share on the social network comes back to haunt them. Clearly Richard Leon Barton Jr. never received this advice. Barton was charged with polygamy last week after pictures of his first marriage surfaced on Facebook. The only problem? Barton never got divorced before marrying his current wife.
Adina Quarto, Barton's first wife, turned her estranged husband into Michigan police not because she wanted him arrested but because she was hurt that her husband de-friended her on Facebook before he married wife No. 2 in July 2010. After Adina was dumped on Facebook, she dug around the unlocked sections of her husband's profile and was shocked at what she discovered. Photos of Richard and his new wife were proudly displayed in his public photo album. Barton and Quarto discussed divorce but never went through with it.
"I didn't think he deserved to get away with it," said Quarto in an interview with Michigan Live. "I'm not a bitter person and I'm not trying to destroy the guy. If he wants to start a new life, more power to him, but he got married when he shouldn't have gotten married."
According to reports, Barton's new wife is "absolutely shocked" at the polygamy charges. Polygamy, although a hot topic for television shows and movies, is no joke. A felony polygamy charge could cost Barton a potential fine of $5,000 and a four-year prison sentence. If he is found guilty, this won't be Barton's first time behind bars. He served time in 2004 in Michigan for "uttering and publishing" and home invasion. During his years in jail, Quarto claims the pair attempted to divorce but Barton never sent her the paperwork. Barton, however, maintains that he did in fact sign divorce paperwork while in prison in 2007.
Barton was freed from jail on a personal recognizance bond.