A Columbus, Ohio police detective was arrested Monday on suspicion of forcing two women to perform sex acts on him in exchange for their freedom, federal prosecutors said.
Andrew Mitchell, a 31-year-veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, is charged with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, two counts of witness tampering, one count of obstructing justice and one of providing a false statement to federal agents. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
“Mitchell, while acting under color of law, deprived victims of their civil rights, namely, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” a Department of Justice statement said.
Prosecutors said Mitchell, 55, kidnapped one woman in July 2017 and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. In September 2017 and the summer of 2018, Mitchell forced a second woman to have sex with him, the indictment alleged.
Mitchell plans to plead not guilty on Wednesday, the New York Times reported. His lawyer, Mark Collins, told the Times they are “definitely looking forward to vigorously fighting this case at trial.” He said his client has been on restricted duty since his arrest Monday.
In a separate case, Mitchell is also being investigated in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman during a prostitution sting last summer.