Paul Petersen appeals sentence in adoption scheme

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PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona politician who acknowledged running an illegal adoption scheme in three states that involved birth mothers from the Marshall Islands has asked an appeals court to throw out his six-year prison sentence.

The lawyer for former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen argued a judge double-counted factors that increased the severity of his punishment, such as concluding Petersen abused his position as an adoption attorney.

A month ago, he started serving the sentence for a conviction in Arkansas for conspiring to smuggle people.

Petersen is scheduled to be sentenced next month for fraud in Arizona and for human smuggling in Utah.

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