JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Florida Department of Corrections education supervisor is under arrest on suspicion that he raped an inmate under his supervision at Florida State Prison in Bradford County, the agency announced Friday.
Antonio Carlisle, 45, is charged with sexual battery and sexual misconduct, according to a statement released Friday by the Department of Corrections. Carlisle was booked Thursday into the Duval County jail, where he is being held on $1.5 million bond.
“The charges against Antonio Carlisle are deeply disturbing and abhorrent. His actions are absolutely contrary to the core values of the Florida Department of Corrections. FDC is moving forward with his immediate dismissal,” Secretary Mark Inch said in a statement.
The allegations took neighbors like Bernard Wynn by surprise since they’ve come to know him as a man of God. They said Carlisle, a senior pastor of Greater True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in Lake City, often spoke about the good work he was doing at the prison.
“That’s crazy, that’s bad, that’s not good,” Wynn told the News4Jax I-TEAM. “I would never see that about him because he was always talking good. It’s shocking, to be honest.”
Wynn said it wasn’t unusual to witness Carlisle ministering to people in the Jacksonville neighborhood where he lives.
“He talked about God, he let us know we need to accept God in our life, asking us if we got saved,” Wynn recalled. “And he would pray for us and have us repent, you know, street ministry — he did all of that.”
The charges stem from a complaint filed by an unnamed inmate who came forward and said he was attacked Aug. 6 inside the prison, according to Carlisle’s arrest warrant. About 5:30 p.m. that day, he told investigators, Carlisle physically overpowered him and then sexually assaulted him. Investigators collected a sexual assault kit the next day, taking samples from the inmate’s body and clothing.
Investigators got a search warrant for Carlisle’s DNA on Jan. 29 and took cheek swabs from him the next day. The samples were sent off to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s lab for testing. Analysis of the samples determined they were a match, according to the arrest warrant. FDLE released its report Feb. 5 and a warrant was issued for Carlisle’s arrest the following day.
The Department of Corrections said the case remains under investigation by the Office of Inspector General.
A search of local court records found Carlisle was arrested in a sexual battery case in 2003, but the victim dropped the charges. It appears this happened around the same time Carlisle joined True Vine.
News4Jax Crime and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson said a judge might consider imposing the maximum sentence if Carlisle is convicted because of his position as a Department of Corrections supervisor and a senior pastor.
“It is a little more serious crime because it’s a betrayal of trust,” Jefferson said. “You are paid to house inmates and be responsible for their care, custody and control. And if the allegations prove to be true, what has happened is that you have betrayed that trust.”