Justice was not served in this horrifying case, when Robert H. Richards IV, raped his 3-year-old daughter and allegedly assaulted his young son. Richards is the heir to two wealthy and prestigious families: the du Pont family who built a chemical empire and the Richards family who co-founded the corporate law firm Richards Layton & Finger.
A Delaware Superior Court judge decided that he would ‘not fare well’ in prison, allowing him to escape any punishment for the crimes he committed. The most he got was a fourth-degree rape charge and a mandatory stay at a sex-offenders rehabilitation program. He would then be released after the program was completed.
His ex-wife, Tracy Richards filed the lawsuit claiming that he sexually abused their daughter when she was only three. In addition to this that occurred between 2005 and 2007, she says he was also sexually assaulting their infant son. She is, “is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children.”
Richards was originally charged with two counts of second degree child rape, which would mean at least 10 years in prison per count. He was released on $60,000 bail and he got the best attorney he could find. In a plea deal he admitted to raping his daughter and got a lesser charge of fourth degree child rape instead.
Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden originally sentenced Richards to eight years in prison but changed her mind and decided on Level II probation, requiring only monthly visits with a case officer.
Several times Richards would come into the girls bedroom at night, assault her, and tell her “to keep what he had done to her a secret.” When the girl was taken to a pediatrician, she told the doctor about the abuse. Once tests were done that confirmed the stories, Richards was taken into custody. Both children are said to have repressed most of the memories.