COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - A Columbus police vice detective has been arrested and charged with kidnapping victims under the appearance of an arrest and allegedly forcing them to engage in sex acts in exchange for their freedom.
Andrew Mitchell was arrested Monday morning by federal agents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The 55-year-old resident of Sunbury, which is approximately 30 minutes north of Columbus, has been employed by the Columbus Division of Police since 1988.
Mitchell is currently assigned as a detective in the department’s vice unit, where he conducts investigations into solicitation and prostitution offenses.
According to court records, Mitchell allegedly kidnapped a victim in July 2017 under the guise of an arrest and took the victim to a location where he forced the victim to perform oral sex in order for their release.
A second incident allegedly occurred in September 2017. Mitchell is accused of taking a victim to a location where he forced her to have sex for their freedom.
In the summer of 2018, investigators day Mitchell kidnapped a victim and forced the victim to engage in anal sex before releasing them.
Mitchell is also charged with attempting to tamper with evidence and witnesses, and lying to FBI investigators.
He faces seven counts, which include:
- 3 counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under the color of law; punishable by up to life imprisonment
- 2 counts of witness tampering; punishable by up to 20 years in prison
- 1 count of obstructing justice; punishable by up to 10 years in prison
- 1 count of making false statements to federal agents; punishable by 5 years in prison
A grand jury indicted Mitchell on March 7. He appeared in federal court on Monday afternoon.
The Columbus police chief released a statement following Mitchell’s arrest:
If you believe you are a potential victim related to Mitchell’s case or have any relevant information, please call the FBI at 614-849-1777.