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Lawsuit Details Rape Accusation Against Former Columbus Officer Andrew Mitchell

Columbus Police Vice officer Andrew Mitchell.
Justice Department

A new federal lawsuit accuses former Columbus Police Vice Unit officer Andrew Mitchell of raping a woman identified as Jane Doe on multiple occasions.

David Goldstein is the lawyer representing Doe in the case filed Tuesday, January 28. Goldstein says Mitchell sexually assaulted his client in 2017 and 2018. In both cases, Doe was in the back of an unmarked police vehicle.

“Unfortunately, my client had issues with prostitution and narcotics,” Goldstein says. “She did not report the incidents at the time they happened out of shock and fear that no one would believe her.”

Mitchell retired in bad standing from the Columbus Division of Police in March 2019 after being indicted by federal prosecutors on multiple charges. The FBI alleges Mitchell kidnapped victims under the guise of an arrest and forced them to have sex in exchange for their release. Mitchell has pleaded not guilty.

Doe's lawsuit says she is in her 20s, and that she cooperated with the FBI in its investigations of Mitchell and the now-shuttered Vice Unit.

The suit says that in the 2017 incident, Doe was walking on the sidewalk when an unmarked vehicle approached her. Mitchell allegedly flashed his police badge and ordered Doe to get into the back of his vehicle.

Mitchell then allegedly handcuffed one of Doe's hands to the vehicle before raping her. Doe says Mitchell called her a “whore” and did not allow her to fully re-dress before kicking her out of the vehicle.

Goldstein says Mitchell raped Doe again in 2018, but she did not recognize Mitchell until she was in the vehicle.

Goldstein says Doe approached him for legal representation “a while ago." He says she contacted authorities after recognizing Mitchell on television in a story about the death of Donna Castleberry. Mitchell fatally shot Castleberry in the back seat of his car while arresting her on prostitution charges, after she stabbed him in the hand.

In addition to federal charges, Mitchell was also indicted last year on state charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the death of Castleberry. Franklin County prosecutors say Castleberry didn't believe Mitchell was an officer, because he was in plainclothes and not carrying I.D. Mitchell has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

The Vice Unit was disbanded in the same month as Mitchell's federal indictment. Investigations into the unit have also led to the recent firings of officers Steve Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, who were involved in the arrest of Stormy Daniels.

Mitchell is due back in court later this month. A federal judge has scheduled his trial for March 30.

He is currently imprisoned in Northwest Ohio.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.