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Ex-politician in adoption scheme to be sentenced in 3 states

In this Nov. 15, 2019 file photo Paul Petersen appears at court in the Matheson courthouse in Salt Lake City Utah with his attorney Scott Williams. The Arizona elected official accused of paying women from a poor Pacific island nation to give their babies up for adoption in the United States made an appeal Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 to keep his job. (Scott G. Winterton/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors in Arkansas will seek a 10-year prison sentence next week for a former Arizona politician who acknowledged running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands. Prosecutors said former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen defrauded state courts, violated an international adoption compact and took advantage of birth mothers. Petersen is a Republican who also worked as an adoption attorney. He faces sentencings in January for convictions in Arizona and Utah. Petersen said he accepts the consequences of his actions. His plea in court papers for leniency was accompanied by letters of support from some adoptive families.