South Phila. man arrested in knifepoint rape near SEPTA station

A 41-year-old South Philadelphia man has been charged with raping a woman at knifepoint after following her from the subway.

Police arrested Joseph Woods, of the 1800 block of Mountain Street, on June 14 after receiving anonymous tips based on a surveillance photo released to the media on June 12. Authorities said Woods is the man who raped a woman on May 26 near 15th and Lehigh in North Philadelphia.

The woman reported getting off the SEPTA Broad Street Subway and exiting the Lehigh station when she noticed a man following her. The man then approached her, pushed a knife into her stomach and forced her into a parking lot, where he sexually assaulted her.

Woods has a criminal history, which includes pleading guilty to rape in 1991, when he was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 6 years. He was also charged earlier this month with indecent assault and simple assault. He is in custody on $1 million bail.

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