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City Attorney Dismissing Cases Worked By Columbus Police Vice Officer

Columbus Police Vice officer Andrew Mitchell.
Justice Department
Columbus Police Vice officer Andrew Mitchell was arrested Monday for allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting multiple women, while acting under his duties as a police officer.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced on Tuesday that his office will review and possibly dismiss open and pending cases that solely involve Columbus Police Vice officer Andrew Mitchell.

The U.S. Department of Justice arrested and indicted Mitchell on Monday for kidnapping multiple victims under the pretense of arrest and forcing them to have sex in exchange for their freedom.

Now, Klein says his office will review convictions where Mitchell was the sole arresting officer. Mitchell was a 31-year department veteran who primarily worked on solicitation cases with the Vice Unit. Klein is asking any defendants who pleaded guilty to come forward with any facts that were not known at the time of prosecution.

“We will review those convictions on a case-by-case basis,” Klein saidin a written statement. “Defendants should have their attorney contact our office with relevant information.”

Klein asks defendants who meet those criteria to have their attorney contact chief prosecutor Bill Hedrick in the city attorney's office at Brhedrick@columbus.gov.

Mitchell may face the rest of his life in prison if convicted. He will remain in the custody of U.S. Marshals until his court hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Charges against Mitchell include three counts of deprivation of rights while acting under the color of the law, two counts of witness tampering, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of making false statements to federal agents.

No state or local charges have been announced against Mitchell, including for rape and kidnapping, which are both usually state crimes.

Mitchell, who also fatally shot Donna Castleberry in August 2018, was relieved of duty in September amid multiple investigations into misconduct allegations. The FBI is currently investigating the Vice Unit at the request of Columbus Police.

If you have information to share about the Vice Unit, contact WOSU at adora@wosu.org.