Guilty rapist + wealthy = No jail time

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
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Du Pont heir dodged prison for raping 3-year-old daughter after judge ruled he 'would not fare well' behind bars


A du Pont family heir who pleaded guilty nearly six years ago to raping his 3-year-old daughter was never put behind bars because a Delaware judge ruled he “would not fare well” in prison, court records show.

Robert H. Richards IV — scion of the family who built the chemical empire and kin to the co-founders of a prestigious law firm, Richards Layton & Finger — was given eight years probation and was ordered to seek treatment after being convicted of fourth-degree rape in 2008, the records show.

Officials managed to keep the case away from the public spotlight until this month — when his ex-wife, Tracy Richards, filed a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for abusing their daughter and son, the News Journal reported.

Richards, 47 — whose great-grandfather is du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont — has never been criminally charged for crimes against his son.

The recently filed litigation claims that the father — who lives in a $1.8 million mansion near Winterthur Museum — raped his daughter, now 11, several times beginning in 2005, according to the newspaper.

Two years later, when the girl was 5 years old, she told her grandmother, Donna Burg, that she was being sexually abused by Richards, court documents show.

The little girl said her father told her it was “our little secret,” but said she didn’t want the man touching her anymore, according to the court docs.

Tracy Richards, after Burg told her of the sickening abuse, confronted her then-husband and had him arrested for raping the child.

Richards used “his family’s wealth and position in the community” to hire an expensive defense team and denied the charges, according to the lawsuit obtained by the News Journal.

But after failing a polygraph test, he admitted to abusing the little girl. Richards allegedly told investigators “he was ill and that he needed medical treatment,” the lawsuit said.

Richards pleaded guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape — a deal that helped him dodge any jail time.

Superior Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richards to eight years in prison, but suspended the time for probation that requires monthly visits with a case officer.

“Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 setting,” Jurden wrote in her sentencing order. In Delaware’s correctional system, Level 5 is prison.

Brendan J. O’Neill, a Delaware public defender, told the Detroit Free Press that the ruling may prompt the public to be skeptical of “how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system.”

But he defended the judge’s decision, saying sometimes people need help more than they deserve to be punished.

“It’s an extremely rare circumstance that prison serves the inmate well,” he told the paper. “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.”

But now Richard’s ex-wife is seeking justice by suing him for assault, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children, the News Journal reported.

The lawsuit claims that while taking another lie detector test in 2010, Richards allegedly told the examiner he began to sexually abuse his son in 2005 — when the boy was 19 months old.

The father allegedly confessed that he “was very concerned something happened with his son, but that he has repressed the memories,” according to the lawsuit.

Saying the abuse was “similar to what happened with his daughter,” Richards allegedly “promised that whatever I did to my son, I will never do it again,” the lawsuit said.

An attorney for the convicted pedophile’s ex-wife said the lawsuit is the first step in seeking justice.

“This self-confessed, admitted rapist and child abuser didn’t go to jail and, in fact, he stays in luxury where he’s always been,” said the lawyer, Thomas C. Crumplar.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
We should never throw the rich in jail. Who will buy our elections of we do?
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,758
509
Hawaii, USA
I agree with the decision not to imprison him, but I think that it should be consistently applied to people who are less wealthy as well.

We're too quick to throw people into prison in America. We're very focused on punishment, rather than rehabilitation. It doesn't do society any good. Prison has become a training ground for criminals. Aside from potentially instigating more crime, we lose out on productivity. The insult on top of this injury is the fact that we're paying for all of it.

This man abused his own children. People will jump in to assume it's pedophilia, but it could be a case of exerting dominance and power over vulnerable individuals. It doesn't exclusively have to be one or the other; it could be a combination. Regardless, it isn't healthy and has the potential to threaten others, but as of now there's no evidence that he represents a threat to anyone but his family. Bar him from seeing his family and imprison him if he still attempts contact even against orders from the court, but what good would throwing him in prison first do? Would he really receive the therapy that he needs there, or would he come out of prison as a better, improved person?

If he were imprisoned, I think he'd probably come out for the worse. I think that's how it is for many who have to go through the prison system. We need to rethink why people should be sent to prison, what we hope to accomplish by sending people to prison, and then change our reflex from demanding prison time to something more productive.
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
3,923
9,052
Having had a distant connection with Foxcatcher and a few friends who had close associations I hold a strong resentment toward the Duponts, obviously John in particular.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,386
UK
I agree with the decision not to imprison him, but I think that it should be consistently applied to people who are less wealthy as well.

We're too quick to throw people into prison in America. We're very focused on punishment, rather than rehabilitation. It doesn't do society any good. Prison has become a training ground for criminals. Aside from potentially instigating more crime, we lose out on productivity. The insult on top of this injury is the fact that we're paying for all of it.

This man abused his own children. People will jump in to assume it's pedophilia, but it could be a case of exerting dominance and power over vulnerable individuals. It doesn't exclusively have to be one or the other; it could be a combination. Regardless, it isn't healthy and has the potential to threaten others, but as of now there's no evidence that he represents a threat to anyone but his family. Bar him from seeing his family and imprison him if he still attempts contact even against orders from the court, but what good would throwing him in prison first do? Would he really receive the therapy that he needs there, or would he come out of prison as a better, improved person?

If he were imprisoned, I think he'd probably come out for the worse. I think that's how it is for many who have to go through the prison system. We need to rethink why people should be sent to prison, what we hope to accomplish by sending people to prison, and then change our reflex from demanding prison time to something more productive.
Seriously? It's child abuse of the worst order. If anyone should go to jail he should.

That all said I understand why the judge didn't send him. The judge would be on the front pages in Beijing (let alone London and the US itself) when Du Pont landed up dead. This was the easy way out to avoid that :(.

Maybe the US should sort out the violence in its prisons - and having so many people who will never be freed must hurt with that.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,607
I agree with the decision not to imprison him, but I think that it should be consistently applied to people who are less wealthy as well.

We're too quick to throw people into prison in America. We're very focused on punishment, rather than rehabilitation. It doesn't do society any good. Prison has become a training ground for criminals. Aside from potentially instigating more crime, we lose out on productivity. The insult on top of this injury is the fact that we're paying for all of it.

This man abused his own children. People will jump in to assume it's pedophilia, but it could be a case of exerting dominance and power over vulnerable individuals. It doesn't exclusively have to be one or the other; it could be a combination. Regardless, it isn't healthy and has the potential to threaten others, but as of now there's no evidence that he represents a threat to anyone but his family. Bar him from seeing his family and imprison him if he still attempts contact even against orders from the court, but what good would throwing him in prison first do? Would he really receive the therapy that he needs there, or would he come out of prison as a better, improved person?

If he were imprisoned, I think he'd probably come out for the worse. I think that's how it is for many who have to go through the prison system. We need to rethink why people should be sent to prison, what we hope to accomplish by sending people to prison, and then change our reflex from demanding prison time to something more productive.
GTFOH, The physical act of what he did is pedophilia in itself, regardless of the his mental state.

The judge failed to think of all children first by letting this guy walk without him doing some time. One thing prison accomplishes, is letting the convicted know how serious the crime they committed is.

You might be right about prisons in general when it comes to your average thief, drug dealer, or scam artist. But those who commit violent and sexual attacks need to serve time in prison.
 

Septembersrain

Contributor
Dec 14, 2013
3,362
3,717
Texas
Another rich person that they can't put in prison. I understand it though. Most people in prison would love to get their hands on someone with wealth. Add a child rapist to that and he's pretty much dead.

However, he's still very fortunate to have his family name and wealth to save him. I personally don't think any justice was handed to him for those poor children. It's a real shame.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,607
Another rich person that they can't put in prison. I understand it though. Most people in prison would love to get their hands on someone with wealth. Add a child rapist to that and he's pretty much dead.

However, he's still very fortunate to have his family name and wealth to save him. I personally don't think any justice was handed to him for those poor children. It's a real shame.
I fail to understand. They have plenty of child rapists, ex cops, and snitches in prison. They are either in the protective custody section or isolation. This has everything to do with being wealthy, absolutely nothing to do with being in danger.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,386
UK
I fail to understand. They have plenty of child rapists, ex cops, and snitches in prison. They are either in the protective custody section or isolation. This has everything to do with being wealthy, absolutely nothing to do with being in danger.
Snitches, child milestones and ex cops aren't going to make the lead story worldwide if they get killed though.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Original poster
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,607
Snitches, child milestones and ex cops aren't going to make the lead story worldwide if they get killed though.
Celebs and athletes would, they still go to jail and prison. Nobody was using this lame excuse for O.J.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,386
UK
Celebs and athletes would, they still go to jail and prison. Nobody was using this lame excuse for O.J.
Celebs will be respected in prison and OJ and rappers can probably handle themselves.

Additionally they didn't go for child molesting.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
You know what is missing from the stories about this Judge? Her political party. The political party of the two governors that have appointed her. I can see why the media wants to keep that part quiet. If it was the other party, they'd be adding it to every headline.
 

sim667

macrumors 65816
Dec 7, 2010
1,365
2,837
The injustice in the US prison system has never been so evident as its made in this case.

If this happened in the UK im pretty sure it would kick off outside the courthouse.
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
10,386
UK
You know what is missing from the stories about this Judge? Her political party. The political party of the two governors that have appointed her. I can see why the media wants to keep that part quiet. If it was the other party, they'd be adding it to every headline.
Probably because it's irrelevant. Not all US media supports any one party.

----------

The injustice in the US prison system has never been so evident as its made in this case.

If this happened in the UK im pretty sure it would kick off outside the co
urthouse.
In the UK he might suffer some rough and tumble but he wouldn't turn up dead. That means you can send him to jail.
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,888
2,480
St. Louis, MO
I agree with the decision not to imprison him, but I think that it should be consistently applied to people who are less wealthy as well.

We're too quick to throw people into prison in America. We're very focused on punishment, rather than rehabilitation. It doesn't do society any good. Prison has become a training ground for criminals. Aside from potentially instigating more crime, we lose out on productivity. The insult on top of this injury is the fact that we're paying for all of it.

This man abused his own children. People will jump in to assume it's pedophilia, but it could be a case of exerting dominance and power over vulnerable individuals. It doesn't exclusively have to be one or the other; it could be a combination. Regardless, it isn't healthy and has the potential to threaten others, but as of now there's no evidence that he represents a threat to anyone but his family. Bar him from seeing his family and imprison him if he still attempts contact even against orders from the court, but what good would throwing him in prison first do? Would he really receive the therapy that he needs there, or would he come out of prison as a better, improved person?

If he were imprisoned, I think he'd probably come out for the worse. I think that's how it is for many who have to go through the prison system. We need to rethink why people should be sent to prison, what we hope to accomplish by sending people to prison, and then change our reflex from demanding prison time to something more productive.
Sorry, but no. This type of human trash is what prison is made for. I am all for rehabilitation for some prisoners, especially those who committed nonviolent crimes like drug dealing or shoplifting. This scumbag raped a 3 year old. They should lock him up and throw away the key.

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You know what is missing from the stories about this Judge? Her political party. The political party of the two governors that have appointed her. I can see why the media wants to keep that part quiet. If it was the other party, they'd be adding it to every headline.
Because when she was appointed a decade ago, the governors knew she would do this :rolleyes:

The only one turning this political is you.