duPont Heir Skates With Probation in Daughter Rape Case, Accused of Molesting Infant Son Too

mugIn the WTF news this morning, a judge assigned probation for a trust funded du Pont heir’s daughter rape trial because “he would not fare well” in prison.  The father, Robert H. Richards IV, raped his daughter at age three.

A Superior Court judge sentenced Richards, an heir to the du Pont fortune, to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter and she wrote in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and suggested that he needed treatment instead of time behind bars, according to Delaware Online.

Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV was fraught with unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape according to the Delaware Online news.

The rape of his daughter made the news in December of 2007, when the girl, then 5, told her grandmother that Richards sexually abused her.  The grandmother, Donna Burg, said that the girl reported that her father told her it was “our little secret” but said she didn’t want “my daddy touching me anymore.”

The judge decided that prison life would adversely affect Richards, the rapist, with her view that treatment was a better option for this child rapist than prison.  Jurden gave Richards, who had no previous criminal record, an eight-year prison term, but suspended all the prison time for probation.

“Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 [prison] setting,” she wrote in her order.

“It’s an extremely rare circumstance that prison serves the inmate well,” said Delaware Public Defender Brendan J. O’Neill, whose office represents defendants who normally cannot afford a lawyer. “Prison is to punish, to segregate the offender from society, and the notion that prison serves people well hasn’t proven to be true in most circumstances.”

Obviously this person of immense wealth was able to hire a team of lawyers to argue these points and convince this judge Richards would not be able to handle prison.  According to court records Richards is listed at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing between 250 and 276 pounds.  He was also a former camp counselor.

Richards does not work and is supported by a trust fund. He owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville , Delaware, and also owns a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach. His great-grandfather is du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, and his father is Robert H. Richards III, a retired partner in the Richards Layton & Finger law firm.

Sadly the girl said her father molested her in the bedrooms of both her mother and brother in their home, according to the arrest warrant. The mother and his wife, Tracy Richards, told police he admitted abusing his daughter, when she confronted her then-husband, and that he explained , “it was an accident and he would never do it again.” Horrifically, a lawsuit filed by his then-wife also accused him of also molesting their 18-month-old son.

Richards was arrested and then freed on $60,000 secured bail while awaiting trial on the charges that COULD have put put him behind bars for years.  This will not be the case now.

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