WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A veteran police officer was arrested by federal authorities for using his badge to “kidnap” several women and then force them into having sex with him.
- Andrew Mitchell was indicted last week on seven counts after forcing women he detained to have sex in exchange for their freedom.
- The disgraced officer faces a possible life sentence and will remain in federal custody until a detention hearing on Wednesday.
A 30-year police officer was arrested Monday by federal authorities for forcing women to have sex with him under threat of an arrest. He was also found to have pressured others to help cover up crimes.
Columbus vice squad Officer Andrew Mitchell lied to federal investigators when he told them he’d never had sex with prostitutes. The 55-year-old veteran faces a detention hearing this week.
Mitchell is charged with seven counts including witness tampering, obstruction of justice, making a false statement to federal investigators, and deprivation of rights under color of law — the language used to describe crimes committed by police officers while on duty.
The police veteran allegedly arrested two different women and forced them to have sex in exchange for their freedom. During the investigation, he lied when he told the investigators he’d never had sex with a prostitute But according to the indictment, “he has had sex with numerous prostitutes, including having paid women money for sex.”
State authorities are also investigating Mitchell after police said he fatally shot Donna Castleberry. The 23-year-old woman had stabbed him in the hand while inside his unmarked police car. Castleberry, who was struggling with drugs was likely working as a prostitute the time of her arrest.
Ben Glassman, U.S. attorney for Ohio’s southern half, called police crimes while on duty “a nightmarish breach of trust.”
“We rely on the police to serve and protect us, and when you have a police officer who commits a crime, that is a very serious breach of trust,” he added.
Interim Columbus police chief Thomas Quinlan stressed that police officers take an oath to the constitution and promise to obey federal, state and local laws.
“The community has every right to be disgusted by the news, as well as everyone who wears this badge,” the chief said.
Mitchell’s attorney said that his client plans to fight the charges and enter a not guilty plea.
The charges were the latest black eye for the Columbus vice squad, NBC News reported. They have been under scrutiny since the arrest of porn actress Stormy Daniels last year. Charges were dropped hours later.
Source: NBC News