A man has committed a heinous crime -- and it looks like he got away with it. Multimillionaire and DuPont heir Robert Richards was convicted of raping his then-3-year-old daughter 10 years ago, but he won't serve any jail time because the judge fears he wouldn't "fare well" in prison. He has admitted to molesting his toddler-aged son as well. The court details from nearly a decade ago were just revealed because Richards' ex-wife Tracy is suing him for the assaults and for negligence.
When Richards was first charged with raping his daughter, he was indicted on two second-degree charges that would have gotten him a minimum two years in jail for each charge (can you believe only two years?). He hired the best defense team money could buy and plea bargained his way to fourth-degree rape, which has no mandatory minimum sentence. The judge then decided he would benefit more from a sex offenders rehabilitation program than from jail.
According to the lawsuit, Richards admitted to assaulting his then-19-month-old son as well. Tracy Richards' lawsuit says both children, 10 years after the crimes, are suffering long-term injuries, possibly including depression, sexual dysfunction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Tracy wants her ex-husband to at least pay some sort of financial restitution for his crimes.
Can you blame her? It must have been infuriating to watch the man who raped your daughter (and possibly son as well) pretty much get away with it. Had Richards been an ordinary man -- in addition to being a DuPont heir, he's also connected to a prominent law firm -- he would be in prison right now. It's sickening to think that he got a lighter sentence because he had the wealth and influence to buy it.
The least he can do is provide for the children he harmed. Money won't erase what he did to them. And they may grow up to decide they want nothing to do with their father or his money. At least with his story made more public, it's highly unlikely that anyone will let their children anywhere near Richards ever again -- I hope, anyway.
What do you think about Richards' sentence? Do you think his ex-wife should be suing?
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