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Du Pont heir never completed court-ordered treatment after conviction for daughter’s rape

By David Ferguson
Thursday, April 10, 2014 12:58 EDT
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An heir to the DuPont chemical fortune who was convicted of raping his daughter did not attend the court-mandated sex offender treatment program that enabled him to avoid jail time. Delaware online reported Thursday that Robert H. Richards IV was ordered in February of 2009 to report to an inpatient psychiatric program at MacLean Hospital in Massachusetts, but court records show that he never arrived at the clinic.

Jurden made the recommendation in part, she said, because the wealthy Richards — who is the great grandson of the industrialist family’s patriarch, Irenée du Pont and the son of Robert H. Richards III, a wealthy attorney — purportedly “would not fare well” in prison. She agreed that he be given probation on the condition that he attend the intensive program in Boston.

A transcript of the 2009 sentencing hearing shows that prosecutor Renee Hrivnak only agreed to the probation sentence if Richards checked into the Boston clinic.

“If the court is not inclined to send him to the Massachusetts program, then the state would be asking for some period of jail that the court would feel would be appropriate under the circumstances,” Hrivnak said.

Even as she passed the sentence, Jurden expressed misgivings about its leniency.

“I have concerns about this, because arguably you should be in Level V for what you did, and I hope you understand the gravity of what you did,” she said to Richards.

Richards was convicted of the raping his daughter between the ages of 3 and 5. Court documents also stated that he was investigated in 2010 on charges of abusing his infant son. The decision in Richards’ criminal case sparked outrage in March when his ex-wife filed a civil suit seeking damages for the sexual assault of their daughter.

Richards’ then-attorney, Eugene J. Maurer Jr., revealed to the court on Tuesday that Richards never fulfilled the requirements of his sentence. There were issues with transferring Richards’ probation from Delaware to Massachusetts, he said. Furthermore, he claimed, the MacLean facility wasn’t secure enough to protect an inmate like Richards.

Instead, Maurer said, Richards sought treatment through an outpatient program at Keystone Center near Chester, PA, which the attorney said cost “an inordinately large amount of money.” Keystone offers treatment for addiction, sexual compulsion and other behavioral issues.

Maurer told Jurden that his client had gone on a “very long journey” personally, beginning by denying the crime. Then, he said, Richards had “a bit of a breakthrough” while being treated by psychiatrists at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Clinicians at Johns Hopkins referred Richards to the Keystone program.

Richards, said Maurer, was truly remorseful, and hoped to be reunited with his daughter “somewhere down the road.”

The industrial heir was accused of digitally penetrating his daughter in 2007 and charged with two counts of second-degree rape, resulting in a minimum sentence of 20 years if convicted.

Hrivnak allowed Richards to plea guilty to a lesser charge, one count of fourth-degree rape, which carries no minimum prison sentence and a maximum of 30 months.

After sentencing, the court was never able to decide upon whether to transfer Richards’ probation to Massachusetts and in October of 2012, Jurden modified Richards’ sentence to Level II probation, which requires monthly visits to a probation officer, but little else. He is currently unemployed, but lives off of a generous trust which he inherited from his family.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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