Ex-Pa. officer once hailed as hero faces charges

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 he produced a handgun and forced them to use narcotics and engage in sexual acts.

A police spokeswoman said the victims called police and the 27-year-old DeCoatsworth was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses.

A listed number for DeCoatsworth had been disconnected; it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

WCAU-TV, which first reported the arrest, said DeCoatsworth retired from the force on disability in 2011.

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