A former Columbus vice cop will be sentenced Thursday. Here's how much time he could get. (2024)

A former Columbus vice cop will be sentenced Thursday. Here's how much time he could get. (1)

A former Columbus police office will find out Thursday how many years he will have to spend in federal prison after admitting to holding two women against their will and obstructing a federal investigation.

Andrew Mitchell, 60, has been in custody since his arrest in 2019. In December, Mitchell entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court to two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of obstruction of justice.

Mitchell had initially been accused of forcing two women to engage in sexual activity in exchange for Mitchell not arresting them. The plea deal did not include any charges involving sexual assault or kidnapping.

However, federal prosecutors say in their memo that Mitchell could have had no other motive besides wanting sex.

"More was going on that just Mitchell abusing the powers of his badge to only detain someone," the memo says. "Mitchell took full advantage of the nature of the vice unit responsibilities to benefit his own selfish sexual vices."

Part of the plea agreement was a jointly recommended sentencing range of between seven and 11 years in federal prison.

What did Andrew Mitchell's attorneys say about his sentencing?

Mitchell's attorneys, Mark Collins and Kaitlyn Stephens, argue in a sentencing memo filed in advance of Thursday's hearing that the seven-year sentence is enough given Mitchell's lack of criminal history, the support of his family and the improbability of Mitchell ever repeating his behavior.

They said Mitchell would not have agreed to a plea deal had allegations of sexual activity been included.

"The defendant denies having had sex with prostitutes but does per the statement of facts ... acknowledges and takes responsibility for handcuffing the prosecuting witnesses and detaining them against their will," the document says.

"Andrew has never done something like this before," his attorneys wrote.

Attached to the memo from Mitchell's defense team are letters from Mitchell's wife and other family members, as well as a retired detective who worked with Mitchell and current Columbus police Cmdr. Melissa McFadden.

Mitchell's attorneys said the time behind bars will let Mitchell be rehabilitated while also "continuing to pay his debt to society for betraying society's trust as a law enforcement officer."

What did federal prosecutors say about Andrew Mitchell?

Prosecutors on the case asked U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus, who will sentence Mitchell, to impose the full 11-year sentence, noting that the agreed sentencing range is much lower than in other similar cases around the country.

Andrew Mitchell:Former Columbus cop admits to holding women against their will, may get 11 years in prison

"Mitchell was hardly behaving consistent with his responsibilities as a Columbus Division of Police officer tasked with protecting and serving his community," prosecutors wrote. "Mitchell was well aware of the special vulnerabilities of the sex workers and ... purposely targeted them in the belief that their complaints ... would not be believed."

"Mitchell routinely used this dynamic to his advantage ... in seeking sexual conquest and control while ignoring the law he was sworn to uphold," prosecutors wrote, saying Mitchell was "an embarrassment to his badge."

In their memo, prosecutors said the two victims in the case remained willing to testify against Mitchell at a trial but wanted to resolve the case without having to if at all possible.

What did Andrew Mitchell admit to doing?

Mitchell admitted to a statement of facts that said he picked up the first woman in July 2017 in the Hilltop area where the woman was working as a sex worker. Mitchell, who was in plain clothes and did not have his badge, identified himself as a police officer and told the woman she was under arrest.

The woman told investigators Mitchell handcuffed her to a zip tie that was on the doorknob of his car before driving to a nearby area where Mitchell said there were no cameras.

"Mitchell then parked his car and continued to forcibly hold and detain (her) against her will for a period of time," the statement of facts says.

A similar encounter was detailed for the second victim, who said Mitchell picked her up on two different occasions in September 2017. The second woman told investigators Mitchell showed her a badge, according to court records, and drove her to a nearby area where she was detained against her will.

The FBI's Public Corruption Task Force began investigating Mitchell in September 2018, weeks after Mitchell fatally shot 23-year-old Donna Dalton Castleberry while working undercover. A jury found Mitchell not guilty of any criminal charge in connection with Castleberry's Aug. 23, 2018, death.

Mitchell knew the investigation was underway by October 2018, when he began cleaning out an apartment at a rental property he owned with the goal of getting rid of evidence. Bleach was used in cleaning the apartment, court records say.

Federal prosecutors said investigators determined that at least six women who had rented apartments from Mitchell admitted to having sex with him in exchange for money or reduced or free rent.

Mitchell's sentencing hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday.


A former Columbus vice cop will be sentenced Thursday. Here's how much time he could get. (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Carey Rath

Last Updated:

Views: 5307

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Carey Rath

Birthday: 1997-03-06

Address: 14955 Ledner Trail, East Rodrickfort, NE 85127-8369

Phone: +18682428114917

Job: National Technology Representative

Hobby: Sand art, Drama, Web surfing, Cycling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Leather crafting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Pres. Carey Rath, I am a faithful, funny, vast, joyous, lively, brave, glamorous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.