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Hawley man accused of trying to bribe sexual assault victim with a free mobile home

Alexander Cookson

MOORHEAD — A Hawley, Minn., man already facing a charge in Clay County District Court of sexually assaulting an acquaintance is now accused of trying to bribe the victim to make the case go away by offering to buy her a mobile home.

Alexander John Cookson, 28, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit bribery and attempted bribery, all felonies.

The initial charges of criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment stem from an incident alleged to have happened Dec. 13, when Cookson was on work release from the Clay County Jail. He's accused in court documents of forcing a woman into a car and forcing her to perform oral sex.

The additional charges claim that while in jail for the alleged sexual assault, Cookson directed a third party to contact the victim with an offer to buy her a mobile home if she made the case go away.

In a phone call made from the jail on Dec. 16, Cookson is reported to have told the third party to tell the victim: "Flat out tell her you will buy her a trailer house. ... Tell her you'll get her a house and get her away from there if she gets rid of this."

The court documents said authorities also found text messages from the third party to the victim, in which the third party talks to the victim about buying presents for her children.

The third party is identified in court documents, but that person has not been charged.

Cookson remained in the Clay County Jail on Tuesday, Dec. 26. Attempts to reach his attorney for comment were not successful.

Dave Olson
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