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Fugitive accused of raping family member now in custody

Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Mercelin Etienne, a fugitive for five years, is now in the Broward County jail where he will face charges of armed sexual battery.

Earlier this week, Deputy U.S. Marshals and a Miramar Police detective assigned to the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force traveled to Canada to take custody of Etienne and return him to Florida.

Etienne, 54, had been wanted by the Miramar Police Department since June of 2008. According to Miramar police detectives, Etienne, while armed, allegedly raped an 18-year old family member on June 20, 2008, in the back seat of a vehicle. Police reports state that Etienne also attempted to strangle the victim twice and threatened to kill her if she told anyone about the sex assault. The victim reported the crime to the Miramar Police Department and was treated at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center in Ft. Lauderdale.

Immediately after victim reported the crime, Miramar police detectives attempted to locate Etienne who wasted no time in fleeing Broward County. On Nov. 6, 2008, an arrest warrant was issued by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office charging Etienne with armed sexual battery, sexual battery on a family member and felony battery by strangulation.

In 2008, Miramar police detectives enlisted the help of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force to locate Etienne. A Miramar detective assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force and a Deputy U.S. Marshal from Fort Lauderdale began investigating leads to determine Etienne’s location.

They developed information that Etienne had family in Canada and began to work with Canadian law enforcement officials to locate Etienne. On Oct. 29, 2012, Canadian law enforcement officials stopped Etienne while he sought to enter Canada from New York. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Federal Fugitive Unit arrested Etienne based on a U.S. request for his provisional arrest with a view toward extradition. The Canadian government granted the U.S. extradition request.

This arrest and successful extradition has been the result of 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.

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