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New Trial Date Set For Ex-Columbus Vice Officer Andrew Mitchell Over Sex Charges

Columbus Police Vice officer Andrew Mitchell.
Justice Department
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A federal judge has set a new trial date for a former Columbus Police vice squad officer accused of forcing women to have sex with him under threat of an arrest.

Ex-Columbus police officer Andrew Mitchell is also charged with pressuring others to help cover up crimes and lying to federal investigators when he said he'd never had sex with prostitutes.

U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus on Monday set a Sept. 27 date for Mitchell, who has pleaded not guilty.

The previous trial date was March 30 of last year. Mitchell's attorney said the allegations are unfounded.

Michell also faces state charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the August 2018 killing of Donna Castleberry. That case, which has been delayed for trial multiple times, was the first time in nearly a quarter-century that Franklin County grand jury indicted an officer for shooting a civilian.

Mitchell shot and killed Castleberry in the back seat of his unmarked car while arresting her on prostitution charges. Former Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said that Castleberry stabbed Michell in the hand, then jumped to the back seat of the car, where Mitchell shot her six times.

O'Brien said Castleberry didn't believe Mitchell was an officer and "expressed the belief that she was being kidnapped and would be raped." Mitchell was wearing plainclothes and was not carrying the proper I.D.

In November, the city of Columbus paid $1 million to Castleberry’s family to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. It was the largest payout in the city’s history.