The North Carolina Department of Public Safety confirmed the Raleigh Police Department is investigating an inmate in connection with the crime.
A statement from DPS reads in part "DPS is in the early stages of investigating the events surrounding the offender's escape and are fully cooperating with Raleigh PD in their criminal investigation." Raleigh Police Department said charges have not yet been filed in connection with the rape.
The ABC11 I-Team has learned the inmate under investigation is one of 1,194 inmates participating in work release programs across the state. The department says offenders who comply with prison rules, do assigned work, and participate in corrective programs may be placed in minimum custody to participate in work release "prior to reentry into society."
Offenders who are on work release assignments are supervised by their employer. DPS said prison staff also conduct unannounced spot-checks. Offenders are required to return to the prison facility at the end of their shift.
DPS said offenders work in a variety of jobs and businesses including construction, landscaping, hospitality, fast food, clerical, and office work. Offenders are not allowed to work in schools.
DPS said it cannot provide information on specific work release assignments due to operational and security concerns.
A majority of the offenders participating in the work release program are housed at the Wake Correctional Center in Raleigh. Records show offenders participating in the work release program are serving prison sentences for a variety of crimes including drug trafficking, vehicle theft, death by vehicle, hit and run, fraud and fleeing police.