Convicted murder displaced by Florence accused of raping woman while she slept

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A Brunswick County man displaced by Hurricane Florence has been arrested after police said he raped a woman in her apartment.

Around 11 p.m. Monday, Southern Pines police were called to the victim’s home after she said a man sexually assaulted her while she slept.

Officers said 37-year-old Freeman Ireland was displaced as a result of damage from Florence and was trying to relocate to Moore County.

Police said Ireland was on “supervised release” by the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction after serving 20 years for second-degree murder and armed robbery.

He was arrested and charged with second-degree forcible rape.

He was booked into the Moore County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured.

Chief Temme released the following statement on Facebook after the incident:

“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.”

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