Former hero cop Richard DeCoatsworth seeks to withdraw guilty plea

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March 12, 2014 3:05:55 PM PDT
Former hero-cop-turned-rape-suspect Richard DeCoatsworth wants to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial on charges he drugged and assaulted two alleged prostitutes.

Action News learned through DeCoatsworth's attorney, Charles Peruto Jr., that DeCoatsworth wants to go to trial on the original 32 charges against him.

Peruto also told Action News that DeCoatsworth's decision goes against his advice.

The judge in the case has given DeCoatsworth three weeks to consider his decision.

This comes just weeks after DeCoatsworth pleaded guilty to dramatically reduced charges in the case. Back in late February, DeCoatsworth pleaded guilty to just a handful of charges and some 30 charges were dropped.

It was not immediately clear why DeCoatsworth wanted to withdraw the plea.

DeCoatsworth has been in jail for months, held on $3 million bail. He supposed to be sentenced on Wednesday.

The former Philadelphia Police officer was arrested back in May 2013 and charged with Rape, Indecent Deviant Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Assault and other offenses after authorities said he drugged and raped two women and forced them into prostitution.

He was also charged with an assault on his girlfriend.

DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero police officer after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.

It was an act of valor that got him an invitation from Vice President Joe Biden to attend the president's televised February 2009 address to Congress and a seat next to First Lady Michelle Obama.

DeCoatsworth later retired from the police department on disability in December 2011.


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