WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Brunswick County man displaced by Hurricane Florence has been accused of raping a woman who let him stay in her home.
Around 11 p.m. on Oct. 1, a woman reported to police that a man “who was known to her” had sexually assaulted her while she was sleeping inside her home in Southern Pines, according to the Southern Pines Police Department.
Responding officers found the suspect Freeman Scott Ireland, 37, of Winnabow, still inside the home when they arrived. They charged him with second-degree forcible rape and took him to the Moore County Detention Center, where he was booked under a $500,000 secured bond.
“The initial investigation has revealed that Freeman Scott Ireland was displaced from Brunswick County, North Carolina as a result of hurricane storm damage and was seeking to relocate to Moore County, North Carolina,” the police department said in a Facebook post.
Ireland was released from prison in May after serving more than 20 years for second-degree murder and armed robbery convictions in Brunswick County, NC Department of Corrections records show. At the time of his arrest, Ireland was on supervised release by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
“There is no place in our community for predators, sexual or otherwise,” Southern Pines Police Chief Robert Temme said. “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.”