Columbus police vice officer charged with holding women against their will in exchange for sexual favors

The Columbus Dispatch | Bethany Bruner

A Columbus police vice officer could face the rest of his life in prison after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of holding two women against their will, granting them freedom only in exchange for sexual favors.

Andrew K. Mitchell, a 31-year division veteran, appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday and will remain in the custody of U.S. marshals until a detention hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Mitchell, 55, is charged with three counts of deprivation of rights while using his police authority, two counts of witness tampering and one count each of obstruction of justice and making false statements.

The deprivation-of-rights charges involve two women, one of whom is believed to have been victimized twice, and each carries a maximum possible sentence of life in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman called Mitchell’s actions a “nightmarish breach of trust,” a sentiment echoed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

“Police officers are heroes, not predators,” Yost said. “When one goes bad … it pulls respect down for all law enforcement.”

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