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Paul Petersen sentenced to five years in Arizona prison after adoption scheme

The judge said Petersen's sentence in Arizona will run consecutively, not concurrently, to his federal six-year sentence in Arkansas.

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen was sentenced in Arizona on Friday to five years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The judge said Petersen's sentence will run consecutively, not concurrently to his 74-month federal sentence in Arkansas. 

Petersen had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent schemes and practices and one count of forgery last June in Arizona.

The charges stemmed from his operation of an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands. 

At Petersen's sentencing hearing on Friday, the state said it was asking that at a minimum, the court impose a sentence that requires Petersen to do additional time on top of what he's serving currently, that he do time in the Arizona Department of Corrections on top of his federal time. 

Petersen's legal team, on the other hand, requested the sentence imposed in Arizona to run concurrently to his existing federal sentence. 

He is currently serving a 6-year sentence for a federal conviction in Arkansas stemming from the same adoption scheme.

RELATED: Ex-Arizona politician appeals sentence in adoption scheme

Multiple victims testified at the sentencing over video conference. 

“When she's older and wants to know how she became a part of our family, we now have to also explain this part of her adoption to her," said one woman who adopted her daughter through Petersen.

"Perhaps the worst part of the entire situation is that Petersen utterly poisoned our adoption so it will always hang like a shadow between us and our child."

Petersen's ex-wife Raquel also testified on his behalf.

"I can testify to this court with a clear conscience that he is a good man and that he wants to make this right," Raquel Petersen said. "I don't know how justice is served by additional time beyond what he's been sentenced to already and I ask for mercy from this court."

Petersen made an emotional statement prior to his sentencing, saying the victim statements affected him.

"I want to apologize to the court and the state of Arizona for what's brought me here. It really hit me, though, when I was listening to Mrs. Callicutt and I feel responsible for her negative feelings about what happened," Paul Petersen said.

Petersen asked the Attorney General's office to show leniency and mercy to his co-defendant, Lynwood Jennet, saying all she did was do what he asked her to do.

Petersen still awaits sentencing in Utah.

“It doesn't matter who you are, no one is above the law,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in a release. “Paul Petersen violated the public's trust and defrauded taxpayers. Today he was held accountable." 

WATCH: Catch up on the Paul Petersen case with our YouTube playlist: 

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