Robert H. Richards IV (pictured), one of the du Pont fortune’s heirs, raped his three-year-old daughter, admitted it, and was only given probation by a judge in 2009. According to a new report from Delaware Online, documents delineating how the judge stated that Richards “would not do well” in jail have surfaced.
The abuse occurred in 2005, and Richards’s daughter told her grandmother that Richards said it was “our little secret” and that she didn’t want “my daddy touching me anymore.” Richard admitted the crime in 2008 and was initially charged two counts of second-degree rape, but later agreed to fourth-degree rape charges, which usually come with upwards of two years in prison. Somehow, prosecutors only asked the judge to give Richards probation, and Judge Jan Jurden agreed. Richards was given an eight-year prison sentence which was immediately commuted to probation.
There was no physical debilitation that would support the sentence of probation; Richards was 6’4″ and healthy. The defense attorney, Joseph A. Hurley, was pleased with the sentence, asserting, “Sex offenders are the lowest of the low in prison. He’s a rich, white boy who is a wuss and a child perv. The prison can’t protect them, and Jan Jurden knows that reality. She is right on.”
The reason the information became public is that Richards’s ex-wife Tracy made the court documents public. She has filed a civil lawsuit asking for damages for her daughter and has also accused Richards of molesting their infant son, a crime for which Richards has not yet been charged.