Vice Detective Arrested and Charged with Depriving Victims' Civil Rights, Witness Tampering, Obstructing Justice
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus Vice Detective has been arrested and charged with crimes related to kidnapping victims under the guise of an arrest and forcing those victims to engage in sex for their freedom.
Andrew K. Mitchell, 55, of Sunbury, was arrested this morning by federal agents. A grand jury indicted Mitchell on March 7. The case was unsealed at Mitchell’s initial appearance in federal court today at 1:30pm.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and Interim Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the charges.
Mitchell has been employed by the Columbus Division of Police since 1988 and is currently assigned as a detective in the Vice Unit. He has been assigned to that unit since March 2017. As part of his duties, Mitchell conducts law enforcement actions for solicitation offenses.
According to the indictment, Mitchell, while acting under color of law, deprived victims of their civil rights, namely, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Specifically, in July 2017, under the guise of an arrest, Mitchell allegedly kidnapped a victim and transported the victim to a location where the victim performed oral sex for their freedom.
In September 2017, Mitchell allegedly deprived a second victim of their Constitutional rights and transported the second victim to a location where he forced that victim to have vaginal sex for their freedom.
Again in summer 2018, it is alleged that Mitchell kidnapped the second victim under the guise of an arrest and transported the victim to a location where he forced the victim to engage in anal sex for their freedom.
The charging document also says Mitchell attempted to corruptly tamper with two additional victims, who are witnesses in this case. Likewise, Mitchell allegedly attempted to influence, delay and prevent the testimony of a fifth victim in an official proceeding before a federal grand jury.
Finally, it is alleged that Mitchell provided false information to FBI agents in September 2018 at the John Glenn International Airport by stating he had never had sex with a prostitute. In fact, it is alleged that Mitchell has had sex with numerous prostitutes, including having paid women money for sex.
The seven-count indictment charges Mitchell with three counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under the color of law (up to life imprisonment), two counts of witness tampering (up to 20 years in prison), one count of obstructing justice (up to 10 years in prison) and one count of making false statements to federal agents (up to five years in prison).
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Ohio Auditor’s Office and Columbus Division of Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica H. Kim and Kevin W. Kelley, who are prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
If you believe you are a potential victim related to this case, or have any relevant information, please call the FBI at 614-849-1777.
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