Man accused of rapes in Florida uses social media to prey on victims, police say

Man faces charges in sexual battery cases in Alachua and Broward counties

Police officers arrested Michael Baskin on Jan. 25, in Broward County. (BSO)

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – A woman told detectives that she first connected with the man who raped her in January on Facebook Dating. Detectives would later learn that she wasn’t his only victim.

The victim agreed to meet him in person because she didn’t know that he had three pending sexual battery cases in Alachua and Broward counties.

Coral Springs Detective Danielle Crawford later identified the suspect as Michael Baskin, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a police report.

Crawford also found that Baskin, 27, had a “pattern of sexual assault” against victims that he met online and she considered him “a threat to the community.”

Baskin picked the January victim up in a black 2019 Volkswagen on Jan. 10 and took her to an apartment to play “Drunk Uno,” which required taking a drink of vodka as a penalty, according to a Jan. 25 arrest report.

The victim reported that she drank more than six Pink Whitney shots and she didn’t feel well when Baskin invited her to his bedroom to watch television.

She also reported that even though she told him she didn’t want to “cuddle,” he continued to ignore her motions to stop, and as he got more aggressive, she “froze up” and she “blacked out.”

She was crying and felt “loopy” and “confused” when Baskin raped her, and when he was done, she walked into the restroom where she cried again and sent text messages to two friends informing them of the rape, according to the report.

The victim said she grabbed her bag, ran downstairs, and waited for Baskin to drive her to a Walmart where she began crying again and blacked out in a restroom stall until she recovered enough to be able to text message a friend again, according to the police report.

Her friend picked her up at about 3:30 p.m., and after she reported Baskin to the police, detectives listened to an incriminating phone call.

“I am sorry for taking advantage of you,” Baskin said, according to the arrest report.

Detectives say the victim identify Baskin out of a lineup on Jan. 24. The case against him also includes a rape kit from the Nancy J. Cotterman Center.

When he met the victim, Baskin was out on bond for a July 2021, sexual battery, in Gainesville, after a victim reported meeting him on a dating site, according to police.

Baskin was also the suspect in July 2022 sexual battery cases in Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale Beach that also involved social media, according to the arrest report.

Police officers arrested him on Nov. 8, 2022, in Broward County. Coral Springs police officers arrested him again on Jan. 25 during a traffic stop in Broward.

Baskin is facing three counts of sexual battery for the case in January.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.