Homeless man raped teen in tent behind Raleigh church, police say

RALEIGH -- A Raleigh teen who ran away from home was raped Monday by a homeless man in a tent located in a wooded area behind Capital City Church of God in East Raleigh, according to Raleigh Police Department.

Raleigh police officers arrested and charged 44-year old Joseph Anthony Beckham with rape and two counts of forcible sex offense.

Joseph Anthony Beckham, 44 (Source: Raleigh Police Department

According to a search warrant affidavit made public in the case, a 16-year-old girl ran away from her Raleigh home Sunday.

Early Monday morning she was at the Circle K convenience store at the corner of New Bern Avenue and Hedingham Boulevard when Beckham spotted her.

Beckham, who was with a woman, offered the girl a ride.

Later, according to the search warrant, the girl "was grabbed from behind by the male and dragged into the nearby wooded area to a tent."

It goes on to say that Beckham forced the girl to perform a sex act and then he raped her.

The teen managed to get back to the Circle K store where she got help.

She was taken to WakeMed Children's Hospital where a nurse told investigators there was evidence of sexual assault.

Police said they found the girl's teddy bear in Beckham's tent.

When questioned, Beckham denied touching the girl, instead telling investigators, "We just sat in the tent and talked."

Beckham will face a judge at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Wake County Justice Center.

He's being held on a $250,000 bond.
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