IN PARADISE VALLEY, COTTON IS KING

NFL LINEBACKER MARCUS COTTON MAY HAVE RAPED AN ASU CO-ED. TOO BAD THE COPS DON'T CARE.

You have to understand, Marcus and Terry [Hicks] are key people in the black social scene," she says. He's one of the main brothers. Everybody thinks he's so cool, 'cuz he's this big athlete."

But Cotton's professional career hasn't gone as well as pundits once predicted. A star linebacker at the University of Southern California, Cotton signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 1989 for a lucrative bonus. But he didn't last long with Atlanta, and the Cleveland Browns picked him up on waivers during the 1990 season. Last year, he played for the Seattle Seahawks. He's not considered a threat to make All-Pro.

Still, the 25-year-old Marcus Cotton is a very popular guy in the Phoenix area. New Times spoke with several people who know Cotton, and the worst thing anyone had to say about him is, He can get crazy when he drinks too much." That pal adds, Marcus loves the ladies, but he's respectful of them. I don't think he'd ever do something like [Shannon] is accusing him of."

Few in Arizona, however, know that Cotton has a documented history of violence toward at least one woman. Last year, he nearly landed in an Ohio prison after an incident in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Ohio.

Police reports indicate a 20-year-old white woman complained Cotton had met her at a bar and had taken her to an apartment he shared with another Browns player. There, the woman alleged, Cotton raped her.

I tried pushing him away while he was on top of me," the woman told police. I kept telling him to stop. The harder I pushed, the more weight I had on me. I was afraid of being hurt or injured."

How the Parma Heights detectives responded differed dramatically from how Paradise Valley police handled its rape investigation six months later. In Ohio, medical people performed rape tests; detectives tape-recorded interviews with the victim and other potential witnesses; and they interviewed Cotton at length at police headquarters.

Cotton insisted there had been no sexual intercourse with the young woman, but that she had brought him to orgasm with her hands. We never had sex," he told Detective Henry Franz.

But during a lie-detector test several days later, Cotton admitted to having penetrated the woman. She placed her hands on his chest and stated, `Don't. Just stop,'" the polygraph operator wrote of Cotton's confession. Immediately after her statement, Mr. Cotton's penis penetrated her opening."

A grand jury indicted Cotton on charges of rape and sexual battery. He posted a bond of $5,000 and pleaded not guilty. In June 1991, Cotton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and a judge put him on probation.

IN PARADISE VALLEY, COTTON IS KING NFL L... v4-15-92

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