Acting United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MICHAEL J. COTTON, age 68, of Bogalusa, was charged today in a one-count Bill of Information with soliciting sexual favors from a woman in exchange for obtaining a bond reduction for her boyfriend.
According to the Bill of Information, COTTON worked as an Investigator with the Office of the District Attorney for the 22nd Judicial District, which included St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. COTTON was responsible for investigating matters involving the issuance of bad checks, including initiating cases, reviewing records, interacting with victims, collecting fees and restitution from offenders, and obtaining warrants from municipal judges. COTTON also possessed and displayed a law enforcement badge and credentials, represented the DA’s Office in interactions with criminal defendants and witnesses in ongoing law enforcement investigations, and had access to sensitive case-related information. Furthermore, COTTON regularly corresponded with, had access to, and provided case-related recommendations to Assistant District Attorneys. On July 10, 2015, COTTON is alleged to have demanded sexual favors from a female identified as “Victim 1” in exchange for seeking a bond reduction for her boyfriend from $25,000 to a $30 signature bond.
“We are grateful for the joint efforts between our office and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Louisiana's Eastern District. Those efforts resulted in today's filing of a bill of information against Mr. Cotton,” said Louisiana State Attorney General Jeff Landry. “I am committed to ensuring the strong ongoing partnership between law enforcement partners on every level to investigate, arrest, and prosecute criminals.”
If convicted, COTTON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, followed by up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
Acting United States Attorney Evans reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Special thanks for the assistance provided by the Louisiana State Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution