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Originally published August 31, 2011 at 4:02 AM | Page modified August 31, 2011 at 6:52 AM

Grays Harbor County man claims sheriff's deputy extorted sex

An Elma, Wash., man who opened a medical marijuana dispensary in Grays Harbor County has filed a multimillion-dollar federal claim, alleging that a male county sheriff's deputy threatened him with jail to extort sexual favors.

The Associated Press

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ELMA, Wash. —

An Elma, Wash., man who opened a medical marijuana dispensary in Grays Harbor County has filed a multimillion-dollar federal claim, alleging that a male county sheriff's deputy threatened him with jail to extort sexual favors.

The Daily World reports that Marcus Searls is seeking at least $15 million from the county and $1 million from the city of Elma. He also alleges mistreatment by an Elma officer.

Searls says he initially engaged in consensual sex with the deputy, a 24-year sheriff's department veteran. He contends he was threatened with arrest over his marijuana activities when he tried to end the relationship.

Undersheriff Rick Scott tells KIRO-TV the deputy denies that any extortion took place. KING-TV reports the deputy is on paid administrative leave while Lewis County investigates the claim.

Searls says he opened his dispensary in Oakville in February and shut it down in June. He contends the sheriff's office and city of Oakville pressured him out of business.

The complaint was filed Monday in federal court.

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