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Ex-Pa. officer once hailed as hero faces charges

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm •  Published: May 18, 2013
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady at a speech by President Obama has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes.

Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two females early Thursday and took them to another location, where they allege that he produced a handgun and "forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and sexual acts."

A police spokeswoman said the two called police after he left, and 27-year-old DeCoatsworth was later arrested. According to court records, DeCoatsworth was arraigned Saturday night on charges including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, trafficking of persons, false imprisonment and aggravated assault. His bail was set at $60 million.

DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.

DeCoatsworth was invited by Vice President Joe Biden to attend the president's televised February 2009 address to Congress and sat with first lady Michelle Obama. He said he didn't know why he had been singled out, but being in the presence of the nation's leaders was an honor "that I will keep with me for the rest of my life."

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