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Arpaio Attorneys Wants To Ban Testimony From Illegally Detained Latinos

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to bar Latinos who were illegally detained during patrols under his watch from testifying at his trial next month on a criminal contempt of court charge.

Lawyers for Arpaio said in a Friday court filing that allowing such victim testimony at the trial would prejudice the case against their client and would be irrelevant in determining whether he committed a crime.

Arpaio, who lost his re-election bid last November, faces the misdemeanor charge for defying a 2011 court order in a racial profiling case that prohibited his immigration patrols.

Rank-and-file officers weren't told about the court order, leaving them to violate the order for about 17 months. Arpaio has acknowledged prolonging his immigration patrols, but insists his defiance wasn't intentional. If convicted, the 84-year-old could face up to six months in jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.