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PHOENIX — A former Arizona politician in prison for running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands has lost an appeal of one of his sentences.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a six-year sentence given in Arkansas to Paul Petersen, a Republican who served as metro Phoenix's assessor for six years and also worked as an adoption attorney.
In all, Petersen was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Arizona and Arkansas. He also was convicted in Utah and sentenced to at least one and up to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. Parole authorities will determine the exact length of his sentence.
The appeals court rejected the argument that Petersen's sentence, which was two years longer than sentencing guidelines had recommended, was unreasonable and said the sentencing judge made it clear why he considered Petersen to be unique from others who had received shorter punishments for similar offenses in other cases.