A man accused of being married to four women pleaded guilty Monday to bigamy in New Hampshire, but he will avoid jail time if he remains on good behavior for the next five years.
Michael Middleton, 43, married a Georgia woman in 2006, an Alabama woman in 2011 and a New Hampshire woman in 2013. That led to the bigamy charge in New Hampshire, but according to court documents, he also married a fourth woman in Kentucky in 2016.
Prosecutors said he used the marriages to gain access to the women’s assets. In court Monday, Assistant Strafford County Attorney Michael Rotman read a statement from Middleton’s New Hampshire wife, Alicia Grant, who blamed Middleton for her transformation from a compassionate person to someone with a “not-my-problem” attitude.
She said she was “satisfied” that he was facing consequences for his actions.
“When we got married six years ago, what I thought I had found in him was a life partner, someone that I could face life’s ups and downs with, someone my children could look up to,” Grant wrote. “Instead I got six years of pain and misery as I tried to free myself from the prison of his lies and manipulations.”
Middleton, who lived in Old Orchard Beach, was arrested in Ohio in February. He also has faced domestic violence charges in Maine.
As part of his 12-month suspended sentence, Middleton was ordered to undergo screenings for domestic abuse and substance abuse, and comply with any recommended counseling or programs. Neither he nor his attorney spoke at the hearing other than to answer brief questions from the judge.
After the hearing, Middleton was asked if he was sorry for his actions. He told reporters he felt “compassion and understanding” for his New Hampshire wife, Grant, after hearing her letter.
“It was a good outcome,” he said. “I hope to move forward with my life and everything, and abide by everything that was handed down to me.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.