Man accused of raping deaf woman who gave him shelter during Hurricane Florence A convicted murderer from North Carolina is being accused of raping a deaf woman who let him stay in her home for shelter during Hurricane Florence.

Freeman Scott Ireland, 37, has been charged with second-degree forcible rape for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman as she slept in her apartment on Monday.

Ireland, who was on supervised release for second-degree murder and armed robbery, was still in the home when police arrived. The woman was treated at Moore Regional Hospital.

Ireland was in May this year after spending 25 years in prison for his previous convictions. He was forced to evacuate his home in Brunswick County because of damage caused by the Category 1 hurricane, according to police.

“There is no place in our community for predators, sexual or otherwise,” Chief Robert Temme in a statement released by Southern Pines police.

Ireland and the woman had known each other for more than 20 years, but the exact nature of their relationship isn’t clear, the police said. He is in jail in the Moore County Detention Center and is being held on a $500,000 bond. He is scheduled to attend a hearing on October 9.

The death toll from Hurricane Florence stands at 51, officials Tuesday, two weeks after it made landfall in North Carolina.

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