- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

FRANKLINTON, La. (AP) - A Washington Parish grand jury has indicted a former investigator for the District Attorney’s Office on a charge of using his position to extort sex from women facing drug charges.

Multiple news outlets reports 66-year-old Michael Cotton faces four counts connected to his efforts to force women to have sex with him.

Three of the charges concern his actions toward one woman, the indictment says. Between March 2013 and February 2014, it says, Cotton used his authority as a District Attorney’s Office investigator to coerce the woman to have sex with him. He also helped her gain possession of Suboxone, a prescription painkiller. In February 2014, the indictment says, Cotton threatened the woman to force her to have sex with him.

Those accusations resulted in charges of abuse of office, extortion and being a principal to possession of a narcotic.

The fourth count, public bribery, accuses Cotton of offering to accept sex from a second woman in return for giving her special treatment.

Cotton was arrested Dec. 11. He was released on bond. He was rearrested Thursday and as of late afternoon remained in the Washington Parish jail with bail set at $75,000 on the extortion charge and $25,000 on the public bribery charge, according to a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Cotton went on unpaid leave from the District Attorney’s Office in April and was fired in August from his job as a part-time investigator in Washington Parish, the news release says. He had been employed since May 2007.

Cotton’s prosecution is being handled by the Attorney General’s Office.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the state Inspector General’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, State Police and the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

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