Mentor of AZ prosecutor Rachel Mitchell on what to expect for Senate hearings

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Rachel Mitchell took over for Cindy Nanetti 12 years ago to run the sex crimes division in Maricopa County. They've known each other for 25 years. Despite the big stage, Nanetti says don't expect a theatrical performance.

All eyes nationwide will be on the Kavanaugh, Ford hearing Thursday, and at center stage in the midst of the brightest spotlight, is the calmest prosecutor that Cindy Nanetti knows.

"She is one of the most prepared prosecutors I've ever seen," said Cindy Nanetti, former prosecutor and long time friend of Rachel Mitchell. "She knows every detail of her cases and she's not theatrical."

Nanetti was Rachel Mitchell's predecessor, handling sex crimes cases for Maricopa County until 2006. They worked side by side for a long time.

"I've told her good luck and I know that she'll be professional and confident and do her job well and stay off the internet," said Nanetti.

"It is a difficult assignment to prosecute sex offenses," said Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County attorney.

No one seems to know how the format will work tomorrow and that could impact how Mitchell handles any questioning of Brett Kavanaugh or one of his accusers, Dr. Christine Ford.

"Very professional, fair, objective and she does have a heart for victims of crime," said Montgomery.

"We as prosecutors can only file cases that we feel there's a reasonable likelihood of conviction and so that is not really her role tomorrow," says Nanetti.

Montgomery says Mitchell's role will be to test the legitimacy of Ford's allegations. But how do you do that without putting the accuser on trial?

"What are the facts here, asking questions that will elicit facts and help people understand what's going on," explained Montgomery.

The hearing is set to begin at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Fox 10 will have full, uninterrupted coverage.