PHOENIX — A judge has rejected former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s request to bar prosecutors at his upcoming criminal trial from mentioning that he had acknowledged committing civil contempt-of-court.
Arpaio was scheduled for trial June 26 on a criminal contempt charge for defying a judge’s order in a racial profiling case to stop his immigration patrols.
Two years ago, Arpaio acknowledged a civil contempt violation for prolonging the patrols in hopes of ending his contempt case, but the strategy didn’t work.
The 85-year-old was charged last year with criminal contempt.
He has insisted he didn’t intentionally disobey the order.
The former lawman claimed he was coerced into making the acknowledgement and that his lawyers at the time didn’t tell him that he would be vulnerable to criminal charges.
Prosecutors said he made the acknowledgement voluntarily.
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