DNA Leads to Arrest of a Man Accused of Sexual Battery

August 25, 2012

A former mayoral candidate was arrested in Rock Hill, South Carolina based on an arrest warrant that accused him of the crimes of armed sexual battery, burglary and robbery. Baxter Tisdale is currently in custody in South Carolina awaiting extradition to Miami, Florida to face the charges. Once Tisdale arrives in Miami, his case will be set for an arraignment before a circuit court judge. He will either be represented by a privately retained Miami criminal lawyer or an attorney from the Miami-Dade County Public Defender's Office. Tisdale waived extradition which will speed up his return to South Florida to face criminal charges.

When a defendant is arrested outside of the jurisdiction charging him or her with a crime, the extradition process must be complied with prior to the defendant being returned to the jurisdiction. A defendant can either waive or contest extradition. Waiving the process will allow for a more speedy return to the place from where the allegation occured. If a defendant does not agree to waive extradition, the prosecuting body must present the warrant to the jurisdiction holding the defendant and must be able to establish that the person in custody is the correct person sought in the warrant for committing an offense.

Tisdale is facing life in prison for the incident which occurred in the early morning hours on February 18, 1986. Court documents reflect that the defendant committing a burglary by entering the victim's residence without permission with the intent to commit a sexual battery. The defendant allegedly entered the victim's bedroom where she was sleeping with her seven month-old son. He is alleged to have placed a knife to her throat and raped her. Tisdale purportedly pushed her onto her bed, placed a pillow over her face and assaulted her sexually for approximately two minutes.

After the assault, the victim was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital Rape Treatment Center in Miami, Florida. As is typical in most rape cases, hospital staff completed a rape treatment kit on the victim. As part of the process, DNA was collected which was later found to match that belonging to Tisdale. Defendants in most cases are required to provide a DNA swab upon being found guilty by a jury or entering a plea to certain offenses, typically felonies. The arrest warrant does not mention how the defendant DNA became part of the data base, but it is believed that he provided his DNA in another unrelated criminal matter. While the victim could not identify her attacker in a line-up, she did recall seeing him around the neighborhood. Even without a positive identification, the prosecuting authority will still have a solid case against the defendant based on the DNA evidence. Tisdale left Miami in 1986 and moved to Rock Hill where he has a criminal history for theft, petit larceny and driving with a suspended license. It is not clear whether he DNA became part of the data base as a result of those criminal offenses.

Police: Rape Victim Feared for Her Life with Knife to Throat, HeraldOnline.com, August 17, 2012.