Grand Jury Indicts Hero Cop On Rape Charges

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PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — Four years after having a seat of honor during a televised presidential speech, a former Philadelphia “top cop” has been indicted by a grand jury on rape charges.

The grand jury charged Richard DeCoatsworth, arrested last month on suspicion of assaulting two women, with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, trafficking of persons and sexual assault, among other counts, the Philadelphia district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

DeCoatsworth, 27, is accused of raping two women and holding them captive after leaving a party with them on May 16, authorities said.

DeCoatsworth became a hero in 2007, after an assailant shot him in the face with a shotgun, according to a White House statement preceding President Barack Obama’s 2009 speech to Congress.

The Philadelphia Police Department rewarded DeCoatsworth for his valor, promoting him to an elite highway patrol unit. He received the “Top Cops” award in 2008 from the National Association of Police Organizations.

In February 2009, he took a seat of honor next to first lady Michelle Obama for the president’s address before a joint session of Congress. But he retired in 2011 after he was accused of using excessive force, CNN affiliate KYW reported.

CNN’s Ben Brumfield and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

By Sarah Hoye

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