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Rankin district judge Ross Cioppa waived his right to a preliminary hearing in his trial for bribery, indecent assault, and official oppression.

Two women from separate trials before Judge Cioppa’s accuse him of offering “favorable judicial treatment” in exchange for sexual favors.  District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala is now investigating Judge Cioppa’s conduct in at least 20 other cases.  Judge Cioppa denies all charges.