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Ex-Arizona politician gets 6 years in adoption scheme

Posted at 2:50 PM, Dec 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-01 16:50:22-05

PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona politician who admitted running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands was sentenced in Arkansas to six years in federal prison.

The sentence issued Tuesday to former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen is the first of three punishments he'll face for arranging adoptions prohibited by an international compact.

Authorities say Petersen illegally paid women from the Pacific Ocean nation to come to the United States and give up their babies in at least 70 adoptions cases in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas.

Petersen faces sentencing next month for convictions in Utah and Arizona.