A man wanted in Texas for videotaping a 13-year-old girl in the shower was sentenced to 12-30 years in prison for molesting two girls in Douglas County.
Michael Cotton, 44, admitted to two counts of attempted lewdness with a child under the age of 14 in instances that occurred from 2020 to 2023 to two girls.
“From what the court has seen it’s clear you are a manipulative predator,” District Judge Tod Young said in passing sentence.
Defense attorney Matthew Ence said that Cotton was found not to be a high risk to reoffend and was eligible for probation on the charges.
He asked the judge to give Cotton to two suspended 2-5 year prison sentences to run simultaneously. He said conditions could include that he not be allowed to have children in the home and undergo treatment for sex offense.
Cotton said he didn’t have any recollection of the incidents, according to Ence.
“I believe he simply blocked them from his mind,” the attorney said.
Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza sought consecutive 8-20-year sentences in the case, saying Cotton had fondled three girls in the home.
She said the evaluator suggested that he undergo a polygraph examination dealing with past sexual abuse.
She said that Texas was willing to extradite Cotton back to Panola County where he faces two felonies, which according to Ence carry a sentence of up to 2-8 years.
In a victim impact statement, the mother of the girls said she questioned her sanity.
She learned about the Texas charges, but Cotton told her they were being taken care of by an attorney there. She said he wouldn’t get a drivers license but explained that away.
“I just wanted the damn truth,” she said.
As a result of his sentencing, Cotton will have to register as a sex offender throughout his life.