Spokane man pleads not guilty to extorting state legislator

Spokane man pleads not guilty to extorting state legislator
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A Spokane man has pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to extort money from a former state legislator after a night of sex.

Cody Castagna, 27, on Monday pleaded innocent to three counts of theft, two counts of extortion and one court of conspiracy to commit extortion.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque set a trial date of April 7.

Prosecutors contend in court documents that Castagna and three other men attempted to blackmail former Rep. Richard Curtis in October.

Curtis, a Republican from the southwest Washington town of LaCenter, said in police reports that he and Castagna had sex in a hotel room and that Castagna later took his wallet and threatened to expose him publicly if he did not pay $1,000.

Castagna has contended Curtis reneged on a promise to pay $1,000 for sex.