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May 20, 2019

Convicted murderer accused of raping woman who sheltered him during Hurricane Florence

October 4, 2018
Freeman Scott Ireland, 37, has been charged with second-degree forcible rape. (Southern Pines police department)

A North Carolina man who was recently released from a 20-year prison sentence for second-degree murder has been arrested after allegedly raping the deaf woman he was staying with while riding out Hurricane Florence.

Freeman Scott Ireland, 37, has been charged with second-degree forcible rape, Southern Pines police announced Tuesday.

Authorities said Ireland was staying with the victim, who he knew, after being displaced by storm damage. On Monday night, she called police to report the sexual assault, which she said occurred while she was sleeping..

Ireland was still in her home when police arrived, according to a press release.

“There is no place in our community for predators, sexual or otherwise,” Southern Pines Police Chief Bob Temme said in a statement.

“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 being held on a $500,000 bond and is due back in court Tuesday.

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