Ex-Ohio vice officer accused of kidnapping sex workers pleads guilty

COLUMBUS — A former Columbus vice detective pleaded guilty to federal charges after being accused of kidnapping sex worker victims under the guise of an arrest.

Andrew K. Mitchell, 59, pleaded guilty to two counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under the color of the law and one count of obstructing justice, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

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As part of a plea agreement, he faces a sentence of seven to 11 in prison.

Mitchell was employed with the Columbus Division of Police from 1988 until 2019. He was in the vice unit from 2017 until 2019.

On two occasions in 2017, Mitchell picked up sex workers while in plain clothes and an unmarked car.

The first time, he told the victim that he was a police officer and acted like he was checking an outstanding warrant on the victim, according to court records. He then handcuffed the victim and “held and detained the victim against her will before dropping her off at her boyfriend’s residence.”

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A couple of months later, he began discussing a second victim’s rates for sexual activity before announcing that he was police and that she was going to jail. He then kidnapped the victim and held her against her will at a park.

Mitchell also admitted to obstructing justice during the federal investigation into his civil rights crimes.

His sentencing date has yet to be determined.

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