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Ex-Pa. officer once hailed as hero faces charges

9:46 PM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 24: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama applauds her husband, U.S. President Barack Obama, while he addresses a joint meeting of Congress as Philadelphia Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth (R) stands by her February 24, 2009 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. In his remarks Obama was expected to address the topics of the struggling U.S. economy, the budget deficit, and health care. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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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 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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