Quantcast
Connect with us

Judge: Probation for du Pont heir in daughter rape because ‘he would not fare well’ in prison

Published

on

A Superior Court judge who sentenced an heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter 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.

Court records show that in Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards confused several criminal justice authorities in Delaware, who said that her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.”

O’Neill explained that he has previously argued that case if a defendant was too ill or frail for prison, but he had never seen a judge cite it as a “reason not to send someone to jail.”

He added that the public might come to see Richards sentence as the result of  “how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system.”

ADVERTISEMENT

According to court records Richards is listed at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing between 250 and 276 pounds.

Court records do not cite any physical illnesses or disabilities.

Richards, who is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville , Delaware, and also owns a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

The rape of his daughter came to light in December of 2007, when the girl, then 5, told her grandmother that Richards sexually abused her.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 girl said her father molested her in the bedrooms of both her mother and brother in their home, according to the arrest warrant.

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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

A lawsuit filed by his then-wife also accused him of 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.

While defense attorney Joseph A. Hurley said that it makes sense to him that the judge would be concerned about Richards’ time in prison, stating, “Sure, they have protective custody, but that is solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. We’re not a third-world society,” Kendall Marlowe, executive director of National Association for Counsel for Children, said that individuals who abuse youngsters deserve to be punished.

“Child protection laws are there to safeguard children, and adults who knowingly harm children should be punished,” said Marlow.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our prisons should be more rehabilitative environments, but the prison system’s inadequacies are not a justification for letting a child molester off the hook.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Did Florida Republican Matt Gaetz just get an illegal donation from the Trump organization?

Published

on

The campaign to re-elect Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a reliable ally of President Donald Trump, appears to have received a deep discount on lodging at Trump International Hotel in Washington during the Republican National Convention in August, federal records show. Such a discount would violate federal election law barring corporations from contributing directly to campaigns, according to campaign finance experts.
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Republican ‘hero’ who helped stop terror attack faces questions over ‘affiliations’ to right-wing extremists

Published

on

An Oregon congressional candidate who drew worldwide acclaim for helping to stop a terror attack faces questions about his "affiliations" to extremists ahead of Election Day.

Former Oregon National Guardsman Alex Skarlatos, better known as the "Paris train hero" after he and four others subdued a gunman while traveling in Europe in 2015, is running in Oregon's 4th Congressional District. Democratic groups claim that his association with Timber Unity, a group linked to extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, QAnon and the Three Percenter movement, raises "serious questions about his affiliations."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Morning Joe destroys your Facebook friends’ excuses for voting for Trump

Published

on

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said most of the people he grew up hate President Donald Trump, but they're voting for him anyway.

The "Morning Joe" host said they share many of his concerns about the president and his fitness for office, but he said they always offer excuses for holding their nose and voting to give him four more years.

"It's good talking to them and just saying, so why are you voting for this man?" Scarborough said. "'Well, he's a terrible guy, he's a horrible example for my kids, I'd never invite him over to the house, he's despicable -- I hate him, I just hate him,' but and then, fill in the blank, AOC or Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders or regulations or tax cuts or 401(k)s, and I say, so, well, we have right now a president of the United States who is demanding that his attorney general arrest the former vice president of the United States, his chief political competitor. This is something that happens or happened in the former Soviet Union, this is something that happens still in Russia."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE