Former north shore DA’s investigator accused of extorting sex from offenders _lowres

Michael Cotton

A former investigator for the north shore district attorney's office was charged Monday with a single count of soliciting sex from a woman in return for helping her boyfriend get a reduction in his bond, according to acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans.

Michael Cotton, who in 2015 was indicted on state charges, allegedly demanded sex from a woman whose boyfriend was being held in lieu of a $25,000 bond. In return, Cotton promised the woman he would get the bond reduced to a $30 signature bond, the news release said.

Cotton was a part-time investigator based in Washington Parish for the 22nd Judicial District Attorney's office, then occupied by Walter Reed, who himself was later convicted of 18 counts of federal corruption charges.

Cotton was indicted in December 2015 and charged with four counts including abuse of office, extortion, public bribery and being a principal to possession of a narcotic. That indictment accused him of trying to force a woman to have sex with him and he also helped her get suboxone, a prescription painkiller.

The status of Cotton's state charges was not immediately clear.

Cotton was a part-time investigator who had been put on leave in April of 2015 and fired in August of the same year. He had been employed by the DA's office since 2007. 

Cotton's federal charge came in the form of a bill of information, which normally indicates that the defendant is cooperating with federal authorities. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, lifetime parole and a $250,000 fine.

Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.