Former Detective Kidnapped Sex Workers While Working Undercover

By Bill Galluccio

December 8, 2023

Andrew Mitchell, 59
Photo: Franklin County Jail

former police officer pleaded guilty to kidnapping sex workers while he was undercover with the Columbus Police Department. Andrew Mitchell, 59, was assigned to the department's vice squad in 2017 and worked undercover, patrolling the streets looking for prostitutes.

During his time on the vice squad, Mithcell was accused of arresting alleged sex workers and then forcing them to engage in sex exchange for their release.

In 2019, he was charged with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, one count of witness tampering, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of false statements or representation made to a department or agency of the United States.

Prosecutors identified two women who said that Mitchell handcuffed them and took them to a remote area, where he forced them into sex before releasing him.

While he initially rejected a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Mitchell changed his mind and agreed to plead guilty to two counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under color of law and one count of obstructing justice.

He faces between seven and 11 years behind bars.

Mitchell was also indicted on murder and manslaughter charges for fatally shooting Donna Castleberry, 23, while she was sitting in his police car in 2018. He argued he shot her in self-defense after she stabbed him in the hand, and a jury acquitted him on all charges.

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