RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A homeless Raleigh man is under arrest after he dragged teen girl into the woods and raped her in a homeless encampment tent, according to Wake County search and arrest warrants.
Joseph Anthony Beckham, 44, is charged with second-degree rape and two counts of second-degree sexual offense in connection with a sexual assault that authorities say occurred on Monday near a Circle K convenience store off Hedingham Boulevard.
According to search warrants, a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing by her foster parents on Sunday was at the Circle K when an unknown man and woman offered her a ride. While walking with them to get to their vehicle, the teen “was grabbed from behind by the male and dragged into the nearby wooded area to a tent,” the victim told police, according to the search warrant.
The teen was then raped, according to the warrant.
The teen “was able to make it back to the Circle K where she sought help and medical treatment” following the assault, documents show.
The teen was transported to WakeMed Children’s Hospital where she was examined by a nurse. The nurse found evidence to support the teen’s claim that she was sexually assaulted, according to documents.
According to the search warrant, Raleigh police officers were able to obtain the convenience store’s security video and confirm the victim’s account of her interaction with the man and woman at the store. Beckham was identified based on the security video and officers spoke with his employer, who confirmed that Beckham was homeless and lived in a tent near Hedingham Boulevard, near the convenience store.
The female who was with Beckham was also identified as a resident of the homeless encampment where Beckham lived. CBS 17 is not identifying her because she is not currently facing any charges.
Officers conducted a search on the tent and found a stuffed animal belonging to the victim. Warrants show that Beckham denied touching the teen, but did tell officers “we just sat in the tent and talked.”
A witness in the encampment told police they recalled hearing someone say, “Don’t touch her J she’s underage,” according to documents.
Beckham is being held in the Wake County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
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