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Millionaire Jailed After Son, 16, Gets Married in Vegas

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on July 13, 2012 7:06 AM

Florida millionaire Dan Rotta's 16-year-old son just got married in Vegas, and all the proud father got was a lousy six months in jail.

Rotta's post-wedding sendoff from a Florida judge wasn't because the teen's shotgun wedding isn't legal -- in fact, it is legal, as the age of consent for marriage is 16 in Nevada (with at least one parent's permission).

Rather, it's because Rotta's judge smelled a rat, The Miami Herald reports.

Dan Rotta, 65, who's in the midst of divorce proceedings, was supposed to have taken his son to a boarding school in Utah. The kid apparently had behavior issues at school, and had been arrested for punching a police officer, according to The Herald.

At the boy's mother's request, a judge ordered the teenager to attend the boarding school, and urged Dan Rotta to take him there immediately.

But instead of complying with the court, Rotta waited until his son turned 16 and then took him to Las Vegas. In a shotgun ceremony, the boy got married to an 18-year-old girl -- the Colombian-born daughter of his dad's housekeeper.

Dan Rotta's role in that quickie immigrant wedding translates into contempt of court, the Florida judge ruled in sentencing Dan Rotta to 180 days behind bars. "It is hard for this court to imagine a bolder, more egregious example of indirect criminal contempt," the judge wrote in his order, according to The Herald.

But as for Rotta's son, the court is likely powerless. Now that the 16-year-old is legally married, he is technically emancipated, and neither his parents nor the court can force him to attend school. Besides, the Utah boarding school does not accept married students, The Herald reports.

But marriage and emancipation go hand-in-hand with responsibility. Depending on his wife's immigration status, Dan Rotta's son may have to help his bride navigate the difficult path to becoming a U.S. citizen. Downloading FindLaw's free Guide to Applying For Your Green Card is a good place to start.

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