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Ohio ex-vice detective gets 11 years in sex worker kidnapping case

Ohio ex-vice detective gets 11 years in sex worker kidnapping case

A former Ohio vice detective who pleaded guilty to federal crimes related to kidnapping sex worker victims under the guise of arresting them was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison.

Andrew Mitchell, 60, of Sunbury, will receive credit for the roughly five years he has been in custody since his arrest in April 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. He had pleaded guilty in December to two counts of depriving individuals of their civil rights while acting under color of law and one count of obstructing justice.

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Mitchell spent more than 30 years with the Columbus Division of Police and was assigned to the vice unit for the final two years of his employment, which ended in 2019, prosecutors said.

While working as a detective in July 2017, Mitchell wore plain clothes and drove an unmarked car when he handcuffed a sex worker inside his vehicle, then drove to a parking lot and detained the woman against her will after identifying himself as an officer, prosecutors said. Two months later, while again working as a plainclothes detective, he questioned another sex worker about rates before he said he was an officer and then kidnapped her before releasing her after an undisclosed amount of time, prosecutors said.

In an unrelated case, Mitchell was acquitted in April 2023 of murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the death of a woman he shot while he was working undercover. He was indicted after shooting and killing Donna Castleberry, 23, as she sat in his unmarked police vehicle in August 2018.

Mitchell said he acted in self-defense after she stabbed him in the hand during an undercover prostitution investigation. The jury in that trial reached its verdict after deliberating for about five hours.

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