• Convicted murderer displaced by Florence accused of raping woman

    Updated:

    SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. - Police have charged a man displaced by Hurricane Florence after he allegedly raped a woman in her apartment, according to our news affiliate WTVD

    Police said they were called to the victim's apartment around 11 p.m. Monday after she reported a man sexually assaulted her while she was sleeping. 

    [NC man dies from bacteria infection during Florence aftermath clean-up]

    Officers arrested and charged 37-year-old Freeman Ireland from Brunswick County with second-degree forcible rape. 

    Officials said Freeman was displaced because of damage caused by Florence and relocated to Moore County. 

    Police Chief Robert Temme released this statement following the incident via Facebook. 

    "There is no place in our community for predators, sexual, or otherwise. I have worked closely with our law enforcement partners at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Division of Adult Correction, to ensure that an additional arrest warrant was issued for Freeman Scott Ireland to further provide the highest level of safety possible, not only for the victim in this case, but for the entire community as well." 

    Ireland is in custody at the Moore County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond. 

    [Florence aftermath: Dead fish pile up on North Carolina interstate]

    Police said Ireland was previously convicted for charges of second-degree murder and armed robbery.

    Officials said he was on "supervised release" by the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction after serving 20 years. 

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