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Updated Dec 6, 2012 - 1:29 pm

Man arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of stepdaughters

Patrick Connaughton (left) and Mary Connaughton are shown. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A 15-year-old Glendale girl ran away from home on Tuesday because she feared further sexual abuse by her stepfather, police said.

The girl was located by officers about 8:30 p.m. and told them she left home because her stepfather, Patrick Connaughton, had been sexually abusing her for 10 years.

"When they began interviewing her, it was disclosed that her 12-year-old sister was also a victim of sexual abuse by the same suspect," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos.

Police said both girls are the biological daughters of Mary Connaughton, 33. It is believed that she knew of the abuse and failed to report it.

The couple was arrested Wednesday. Patrick Connaughton, who allegedly admitted to the crimes, was charged on several felony sexual abuse counts. Mary Connaughton was charged with one count of child abuse.

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