Shocking details have emerged of how a multimillionaire heir to the du Pont chemical business was convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter but escaped serving prison time after a Delaware Superior Court judge ruled he would ‘not fare well’.
Robert H. Richards IV was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009 after he admitted that he had raped his daughter almost a decade ago.
News of the shocking leniency shown to Richards, 46, only emerged on Tuesday in the details of a lawsuit filed against him by his ex-wife Tracy.
In her lawsuit, Tracy Richards charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently also assaulted his toddler son as well.
Tracy Richards, who along with the two children now live in a rental home, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children.
Robert Richards is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. He is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.
According to the lawsuit filed by Richards’ ex-wife, he also admitted to sexually assaulting his infant son in addition to his daughter between 2005 and 2007.
Richards was initially indicted on two counts of second-degree child rape, felonies that translate to a 10-year mandatory jail sentence per count. He was released on $60,000 bail while awaiting his charges.
Richards hired one of the state’s top law firms and was offered a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape charges – which carried no mandatory minimum prison sentencing.
He accepted, and admitted to the assault, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richards to eight years in prison but suspended that for Level II probation, which requires monthly visits with a case officer.
In sentencing him, Judge Jurden said Richards would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serving any prison time.