New trial date set for ex-Ohio vice officer over sex charges

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new federal trial date has been set for a former Ohio vice squad officer accused of forcing women to have sex with him under threat of an arrest.

Ex-Columbus police officer Andrew Mitchell, 57, is also charged with pressuring others to help cover up crimes and lying to federal investigators when he said he had never had sex with prostitutes.

U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus on Monday scheduled a Sept. 27 trial for Mitchell, who has pleaded not guilty. A federal indictment accused Mitchell, a 30-year veteran, of arresting two different women and forcing them to have sex before he would release them. Mitchell’s attorney says the allegations are unfounded.

The previous trial date was March 30 of last year.

Mitchell also faces state charges accusing him of fatally shooting a woman during an undercover prostitution investigation.

Columbus police said Mitchell shot and killed 23-year-old Donna Castleberry in August 2018 after she stabbed him in the hand during an undercover prostitution investigation. Mitchell, who has also pleaded not guilty to that charge, said it was self-defense.