by Paul Bowers
Police charged a North Charleston man on Thursday with sexual assault in a July 20 case from downtown Charleston.
Nathaniel Michael Wilson, a convicted sex offender, is charged with raping a woman in a vacant house at 47 1/2 Line St. According to the state sex offender registry database, Wilson was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct in 1983 and released from prison in April 2005. He was convicted of failure to register with the sex offender registry in March 2007. The database also notes that Wilson is homeless. Police served a warrant on Wilson Thursday at the Al Cannon Detention Center, where he was being held on an unrelated charge of third-degree criminal sexual misconduct.
According to a police report, the victim in the Line Street case was found naked in the street by a passing trucker in the pre-dawn hours July 20. The woman told police that a man had offered to buy her a beer, taken her into the house to drink it, and then threatened to break her neck while he raped her. Police recognized her at the time as being homeless.
Later that same day, a demolition crew began tearing down the house at 47 1/2 Line St. Police had responded to the house at least twice already in 2012, for a burning mattress in the backyard and for a naked man and woman trespassing inside. The reason the house was demolished, though, was that it was in violation of numerous city building codes. To read more about the history of the house, read last week's news feature on vacant houses.