DOVER, Del. – Robert H. Richards IV, great-grandson of the founder of du Pont Chemical, was sentenced to probation by Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for his crime of raping his 3-year-old daughter. Judge Jurden considered unique circumstances in choosing to have Richards forgo any prison time for his crime, observing that she felt Richards would not enjoy living in prison. In addition, she claimed the State’s interests wouldn’t be served by sending the child-rapist to jail because she was ‘pretty sure’ he wouldn’t rape a 3-year-old ever again.
“Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 [prison] setting,” wrote Jurden in her order. “Also, the fact that Defendant’s daughter is no longer 3-years-old implies quite strongly that the defendant is no danger of repeating his crime of raping a 3-year-old direct descendant.”
Richards, who is unemployed and lives off of a trust fund was first arrested in 2007 after his daughter, then 5-years-old, told her grandmother that she didn’t want “my daddy touching me anymore.” She said Richards had told her that it was “our little secret.” Richards’ wife would go on to file an additional lawsuit accusing him of molesting their 18-month-old son.
“Defendant is clearly attracted only to very young children,” wrote Jurden. “With the daughter now nearing puberty and the son only a year or so behind, I see no reason to deprive them of their father figure by locking him away during this very vulnerable time in their emotional development.”
Defense lawyer Joseph Hurley agreed with Jurden’s decision. “Sex offenders are the lowest of the low in prison. He’s a rich, white boy who is a wuss and a child perv,” he explained. “Put Richards in jail and he’d spend the next 15-20 years bent over a stool.”
“Justice is better far served when convicted child-rapists are able to walk the streets freely, just like anybody else,” he added.