Mitchell was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He served about eight years before he was released on parole, Bell said.
Bell said he had no interaction with Mitchell after that.
In January of this year, Mercer County sheriff's deputies stopped Mitchell because they suspected he might have stolen copper wiring from homes along U.S. 52, according to a report in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Mitchell had been spotted riding a bicycle that matched the description of a copper thief in the area, according to the newspaper.
Deputies discovered Mitchell was wanted in Tazewell County, Va., for grand larceny. He was extradited to Virginia and was returned to prison before being released, Bell said.
In the New York City incident, police said Mitchell retaliated against a 73-year-old birdwatcher for taking a compromising photo of him, according to the AP.
The elderly woman told police she was attacked at around 11 a.m. Wednesday in a wooded area near Strawberry Fields, a busy area that serves as a memorial to John Lennon. The woman told investigators a man threw her to the ground and attacked her, then made off with a backpack that contained her camera, the AP reported.
She had also said she thought the assailant was the same man she photographed fondling himself about nine days ago in another, more isolated spot known as the Ramble. She said he demanded she delete the image and tried to grab her camera but didn't succeed, the AP reported.
Mitchell was arrested on rape, predatory sex act and other charges. He also faces separate charges that he threatened a man last month with a knife in the same area of the park.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.