Ex-hero cop free after D.A. drops rape and sex-trafficking charges

By Mensah M. Dean (Philly Daily News)

Sixteen months ago, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said ex-cop Richard DeCoatsworth was a pimp who terrorized the two women who worked as his prostitutes.

City prosecutors painted such an ominous picture of the once-hero cop that a judge ordered him held for trial on more than 30 charges. Bail was initially set at a staggering $60 million and later revoked altogether.

Yesterday, DeCoatsworth, 28, after being locked up for 16 months, was released on his own recognizance by Common Pleas Judge Charles Ehrlich. The District Attorney’s Office dropped all charges related to the “prostitutes” – Taisha Viera and Samantha Velazquez.

A Daily News call to James Carpenter, chief of the D.A.’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, was not returned.

His office released a one-paragraph statement: “After an intense follow-up investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, it was determined there was not enough evidence to proceed to trial with the trafficking and sex-crime charges against this defendant.”

Read the full story: Ex-hero cop free after D.A. drops rape and sex-trafficking charges.

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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