'Hero Cop' Charged With Rape, Assault

Allegedly pulled gun on women and forced sex, drug use

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2013 3:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – In 2007, now-former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero for chasing down a suspect after being shot in the face. Yesterday, he was arrested on charges of rape, sexual assault, and terroristic threats, as police raided his home, also confiscating guns and drugs, NBC Philadelphia reports. According to police, DeCoatsworth met two women at a party, then is alleged to have pulled a gun on them and forced them "to engage in the use of narcotics and to engage in sexual acts." His bail was set at $60 million.

DeCoatsworth received a "Top Cops" award in 2008 and was promoted to an elite highway patrol unit following his act of bravery. But he retired from the force in 2011, after accruing a large number of Internal Affairs complaints and two controversial incidents where he shot at suspects, reports the Inquirer.

Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth, who was shot in the face on duty while making a traffic stop, listens to Gov. Ed Rendell during a rally to push for new state gun laws.
Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth, who was shot in the face on duty while making a traffic stop, listens to Gov. Ed Rendell during a rally to push for new state gun laws.   (AP Photo/Jason Minick)
Michelle Obama stands with Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth, the former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady.
Michelle Obama stands with Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth, the former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to the first lady.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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