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This morning, Columbus Police Vice Officer Andrew Mitchell, 55, was taken into custody by federal authorities during his commute to work.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio said the alleged charges include, “a law enforcement officer deprived victims of their Constitutional rights by kidnapping the victims under the guise of an arrest and forcing them to engage in sex for their freedom.”

Mitchell was an employee of the Columbus Division of Police since 1988. He was assigned to the Vice Unit in March 2017 and his duties included conducting law enforcement actions for solicitation offenses. Mitchell was discharged from duty back in September of 2018.

Officer Mitchell was involved in a shooting that ended fatally. He shot and killed 23-year-old Donna Castleberry during an undercover prostitution sting. According to reports, Castleberry stabbed Mitchell in the hand while being detained in an unmarked vehicle.

Coincidentally, Officer Mitchell was also entangled in a separate criminal misconduct complaint. The complaint was filed a week before the shooting with Mitchell being the lead subject.
This afternoon, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Benjamin Glassman announced the full seven-count federal indictment by grand jury against Mitchell. The March 7th indictment was unsealed and alleges that Mitchell, “while acting under the color of the law, deprived victims of their civil rights, namely, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Glassman broke down the seven counts contained in the indictment as follows:

  • Count one alleges in July of 2017, Mitchell took a female victim under the guise of arrest, kidnapped her by transporting her to a separate location, and exchanged oral sex for her freedom.
  • Count two alleges in September 2017, under the guise of arrest, Mitchell took a second female victim to a different location and exchanged vaginal sex for her freedom.
  • Count three alleges in summer of 2018, Mitchell transported the second victim, again under the guise of arrest, to another location and exchanged anal sex for her freedom.
  • Counts four alleges that Mitchell attempted to obstruct justice, pertaining to him being aware of the investigation
  • Count five alleges Mitchell attempted to obstruct a federal grand jury.
  • Count six also alleges Mitchell attempted to obstruct justice and tampering with witnesses.
  • Count seven alleges Mitchell lied to FBI agents in September 2018 when he claimed he never had sex with a prostitute.

According to Glassman, it is further alleged that Officer Mitchell has had sex with numerous prostitutes, including those he paid for sex.

If convicted, Mitchell could face up to life in prison.

He is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshall’s and will remain pending a detention hearing, which has been set for Wednesday afternoon.

Source: NBC4i