Accused Columbus vice officer pleads not guilty in court

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A vice squad officer in Ohio has pleaded not guilty to charges of forcing women to have sex with him under threat of an arrest.

Former Columbus police officer Andrew Mitchell also pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of witness tampering and lying to federal agents when he said he’d never had sex with prostitutes.

Mitchell entered the not-guilty pleas Thursday in a brief hearing in federal court in Columbus.

Mitchell is being held without bond. His attorney, Mark Collins, decided against challenging that no-bond order Thursday, saying he wants to see the evidence against Mitchell first.

The government says Mitchell is at risk for fleeing and poses a danger to the community. Collins says neither is true.

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