An Oakland man has been charged in the beating death and rape of a woman whose body was found April 5 outside a recreation center not far from Lake Merritt, police said Tuesday.

Prince F. Tsetse, 40, is charged with murder and the special circumstance that the slaying occurred during a rape in the death of Kimberly Robertson, 23, a mother of a young daughter who moved to Oakland from Texas six months ago.

Police said Tsetse, who sells clothing items at local farmer markets, admitted that Robertson was in his SUV at one point the morning of her death but denied killing or assaulting her.

Police said Robertson had left a bar in the 300 block of East 18th Street just after 2 a.m. April 5 and was waiting for a bus when she was picked up Tsetse in his red Toyota 4-Runner.

Prince Tsetse (Oakland Police Department)
Prince Tsetse (Oakland Police Department)

Sgt. Randy Brandwood said police do not have any information that Tsetse and Robertson knew each other before then.

Police said witnesses saw Robertson get into the SUV. Brandwood said police have video surveillance of her being picked up and video that shows the SUV in the area of where she was found.

Police were able to trace the SUV to Tsetse. He was arrested at his home last Thursday and charged Monday.

Brandwood said police recovered evidence indicating Robertson was beaten to death and sexually assaulted inside the SUV before being left on the sidewalk outside the Francis Marion Smith Recreation Center in the 1900 block of Third Avenue where she found by a bicyclist about 6:40 a.m. April 5. That site is just a few blocks from the bar where she had been.

Tsetse is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.