Fugitive Returned To S. Fla. To Face Sexual Battery Charges
South Florida Crime
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A man on the run for five years was taken into custody and booked at the Broward County jail for armed sexual battery.
Mercelin Etienne was extradited back to the U.S. from Canada on Thursday.
Deputy U.S. Marshals and a Miramar detective assigned to the case said they received information Etienne was in Canada where he has a family.
Etienne, 54, has been wanted by the Miramar Police Department since June 20, 2008 when he allegedly raped an 18-year-old family member while armed in the backseat of a vehicle.
According to police, Etienne told the teenager he would kill her if she told anyone and attempted to strangle her twice.
The teenager was treated at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center in Ft. Lauderdale.
Soon after, Etienne reportedly fled to Canada.
Senior Inspector Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshals explained that Etienne was given a six day visitors permit, but disappeared after that.
“This is an individual who committed a heinous crime, sexual battery on a family member, immediately fled the area, fled the country and we had our suspicions he may be in Canada. We were right and he was there and this just goes to show no matter how far you go we’re going to find you,” said Golden.
In 2012, Golden said Etienne showed up at a Canadian immigration office in in poor health and requested refugee status, but Canadian authorities realized he was wanted.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Federal Fugitive Unit arrested Etienne and the Canadian Government recently granted the U.S. extradition request.
Etienne was escorted into the Broward County jail shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. He appeared unsteady as he walked and his blood pressure was taken shortly after he arrived.
The arrest and Etienne’s return to the U.S. came after the combined efforts of the Miramar Police Department, Broward County State Attorney’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of State, Department of Justice – Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Etienne was charged with armed sexual battery, sexual battery on a family member and felony battery by strangulation.