Police: Man charged in rapes of women he followed off the Broad Street Line

An arrest last month in a late-May rape led police to the man they say followed two women off the Broad Street Line, attacked and raped them in North Philadelphia over the past few months.

Joseph Woods, 41, of American Street near Glenwood Avenue in North Philadelphia, was arrested June 14 after police got a tip from an anonymous caller who recognized him from a SEPTA surveillance video, Special Victims Unit Lt. Anthony McFadden said.

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Joseph Woods, 41, has been charged in two rapes of women who police say he followed off the Broad Street Line in North Philadelphia and attacked. (Photo: Philadelphia Police)

The surveillance video showed part of the May 26 attack of a 21-year-old woman in which cops say the victim left the Broad Street Line at Lehigh Avenue around 9 p.m. and was followed by a man who then forced her into an alley at knifepoint, raped her and robbed her.

Once Woods was in custody, McFadden said, investigators noticed a pattern from that attack that mirrored that of the March 14 rape of a 15-year-old girl who’d been followed off the Broad Street Line at Allegheny Avenue, dragged into a nearby alley and raped.

McFadden said a DNA sample from Woods was submitted and came back with a perfect match to the March 14 case as well, and Woods was charged in that rape Monday.

Court records show that Woods, who police said was released from jail about a year ago, has been arrested on charges of rape and other offenses in the past.

He’s being held at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on $1 million bail and is facing charges including rape, unlawful contact with a minor, indecent exposure, sexual assault, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, terroristic threats, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and related offenses.

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