Mark Collins, one of the go-to defense attorneys for local cops accused of crimes, is representing Columbus Vice officer Andrew Mitchell in his federal case.
Federal investigators accuse Mitchell of forcing 2 women to have sex with him or face prostitution charges in a 7 count indictment that includes lying to federal agents, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, referring to 5 “victims’.
In Federal Court Wednesday afternoon, Collins argued that Mitchell knows at least 2 of the 5 and that they’ve called him or been communicating with him since 2014 and that he didn’t force himself on anyone. Collins also argued Mitchell be released on bond pending his trial, saying he poses no more threat to the public now than he did last fall when the investigation into his actions began. The Judge disagreed. Mitchell remains in jail.
US Attorney Benjamin Glassman describes the overall case against Mitchell in 1 word.
“Nightmarish,” he said.
Glassman says it’s possible Mitchell has other victims and could face additional charges thanks to a tip line soliciting information about Mitchell.
“We have had leads since we put it up there but all those leads will be dutifully followed up on,” said Glassman.
For now, the only other known investigation that could lead to charges is in Franklin County, where protocol dictates all Police use of force cases begin. Franklin County’s prosecutor is preparing to present his findings into the death of Donna Castleberry, shot and killed in August 2018 by Mitchell, he says, in self-defense. Collins wouldn’t talk about Castleberry.
“I don’t want to talk about specifics right now because it’s set for grand jury,” he said.
Mitchell is set for arraignment in Federal Court March 21st.