Database of marriages suggested
Updated: 2016-04-15 07:38
By Cao Yin(China Daily)
Chen Liangtao is about to be led out of the courtroom after being sentenced to 22 months for bigamy at Beijing Haidian District People's Court on Thursday. Zou Hong/China Daily
Beijing court convicts man of bigamy after it was found that he had 4 wives in recent years
Legal professionals called on civil affairs departments to create a national network for sharing marriage information after a case in which a man had committed bigamy twice in several years.
Chen Liangtao, 49, from Henan province, was sentenced to 22 months in prison for bigamy by Haidian District People's Court in Beijing on Thursday, but he did not accept the judgment and said he will appeal.
Liu Lin, a Beijing lawyer specializing in marriage cases, said bigamy is often hard to spot because marriage registration information is not easily accessible.
The court said Chen's bigamy dated back eight years. In March 2008, he married one woman at the district's marriage registration office before marrying another in Shandong province the same year.
In March 2010, Chen was divorced from both women, but three months later he married a woman from the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, the judgment said.
While in that marriage, he returned to his hometown in Henan and married another woman in August 2012, the court said.
Chen had children with his first and the second wives, it said, adding that the bigamy surfaced when the first woman sued him in 2015 over a child-rearing dispute.
Chen said after the judgment was announced that he met three of the women on a dating website. He said he didn't think what he did was bigamy.
But a judge in charge of the case, who asked not to be named, added some details.
"The man told the women he was a businessman and owned a company, and none of the victims verified what he said before they married him, let alone conducted background research."
Marriage registration information is not shared on any national network, "which is why the man could marry different women", the judge said.
After learning of Chen's past life, the third and the fourth women divorced him last year and joined with the first wife in reporting him to the police. They hoped to settle the case through the courts, she said.
Chen was arrested in August.