Judge Reduces Bail For Arizona Official Charged In 3 States

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah judge has reduced the bail for an Arizona county elected official charged in an alleged human smuggling scheme involving pregnant women.

The Deseret News reports that a district judge Friday reduced Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen's bail to $150,000 from $3 million.

Charges against Petersen in Arizona, Arkansas and Utah include human smuggling, sale of a child, fraud, forgery and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Petersen is in federal custody in Arizona, and his Utah attorney, Scott Williams, had said the federal court wouldn't hold a detention hearing in Arkansas for Petersen until the Utah bail issue is resolved.

Authorities allege women were brought to the U.S. from the Marshall Islands to give birth for adoptions.

His now-former lawyer has denied the Petersen's adoption business broke the law.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.