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Police: Man Accused of Raping Woman In Center City Was Mere Days Out of Jail

(Phila. PD photo)

(Phila. PD photo)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia man accused of raping a woman in center city earlier this week is now being held on $250,000 bail, and prosecutors are hoping he’ll stay behind bars for a long time.

But 42-year-old Rafiq Smith has a history of beating the rap.

On Tuesday, Smith was let out of jail after a person he was accused of robbing failed to show up in court.

By early Thursday morning, he was back behind bars.

Lt. John Stanford says Smith is now accused of attacking a woman who was on her way to a Market-Frankford subway-elevated station.

“She left a restaurant at around 11:45pm (Wednesday night) and proceeded to walk to 15th and Market to catch a train,” Stanford said today.  “She was approached by a male who grabbed her.  He then pushed her down to the ground, taking 87 dollars and a cell phone. The man then proceeded to rape the female complainant and left the area.”

Septa police caught up with Smith just minutes later, a few blocks away (see previous story).  Investigators are still trying to determine exactly where the alleged rape took place.

Smith has 14 prior arrests but few convictions.  In most of those cases he reportedly was able to walk free because witnesses were no-shows in court.

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