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Former Officer Accused of Rape, Held on $60M Bail


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, is being held on $60 million bail charged with raping two women at gunpoint and other crimes.

A source tells NBC10 former officer Richard DeCoatsworth, 27, met one of the women at a bar on North Front Street two weeks ago, then forced her into prostitution at a Days Inn hotel along Roosevelt Boulevard.

Between 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday evening, DeCoatsworth went to the woman’s home along North Howard Street in the Fishtown-Kensington area, according to the source.

Once he arrived, DeCoatsworth forced that woman and a second woman, both in their 20s, to use drugs and perform oral sex on him at gunpoint, according to the source. The alleged victims reported the assault Friday only after DeCoatsworth went home, according to police.

Police raided DeCoatsworth’s house on the 2700 block of Salmon Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. He was charged with rape, sexual assault, terroristic threats and related offenses. Police also confiscated drugs and guns from the home, according to a source. No word yet on what kind of drugs were removed from the home.

According to court documents, bail was set at $25 million for each of the alleged victims. Another $10 million bail was set in a separate domestic violence case DeCoatsworth is now being charged with, according to investigators. Police say he assaulted his live-in girl on May 9. The $60 million bail is reportedly one of the highest set in Philadelphia history. Decoatsworth faces more than 32 crimes in all three cases.

NBC10’s Cydney Long talked to one of DeCoatsworth’s neighbors who said she was relieved to hear about the former cop's arrest.

“I am scared to be saying this now but I hope he stays where he is at, he has been a thorn in the side of this neighborhood for so long,” said the woman who did not want to be identified.

DeCoatsworth was shot in the face back in 2007 when he was a rookie officer. After being shot, he managed to chase down the suspect for several blocks before collapsing. He called in enough information by radio that police were able to track down and arrest the suspect later the same day.

His heroism earned him an invitation from Vice President Joe Biden to attend President Obama’s first congressional address at the U.S. capital in February of 2009. The officer sat with First Lady Michelle Obama during the address. He was also honored by his peers as a 2008 Top Cop. He was involved in two more dramatic incidents soon after.

In April of 2009, police say DeCoatsworth was jumped and attacked by a man when he tried to disperse a crowd at the Logan section of the city. During the struggle, sources say DeCoatsworth’s gun went off and hit the suspect who took off running. Another officer responding to the scene shot the suspect dead, according to sources.

In September of 2009, police said DeCoatsworth and another officer stopped a man on a motorcycle in the Kensington section of the city. While they were questioning him, a second man allegedly jumped on the motorcycle and drove at the officers. Police say DeCoatsworth shot at the suspect, who sped off. The suspect was found later at the hospital where his mother had taken him to be treated for a shotgun wound.

During the incident, local witnesses claimed the two suspects did nothing wrong and that DeCoatsworth and the other officer acted recklessly, shooting while children were nearby.

In November of 2011, Internal Affairs investigated an alleged scuffle between DeCoatsworth and another officer, according to Philly.com. The Daily News also reports he amassed nine citizen complaints, accusing him of assault, abuse and misconduct.

DeCoatsworth retired from the police force on disability back in December, 2011.

In February of 2012, an arrest warrant was issued for DeCoatsworth after he allegedly threatened a woman in Port Richmond.


Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police

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