Robert H. Richards IV has been convicted of fourth degree rape of his daughter. The judge has concluded that he should not serve time in prison because he would not “fare well” in prison. That is surprising. Prison is not generally considered to be a positive experience. Retribution is one of the key goals of prison. Punishing people for the crimes they commit is a tenet of the American justice system. Yet, Mr. Richards will not suffer retribution or punishment. Because he would not “fare well” in prison, he will be sent to treatment instead.
Is there anything that sets him apart from other child molesters? He is immensely wealthy and related to one of the most powerful families in American History, the Du Pont dynasty. Cynicism might indicate that there was a direct relationship between Richard’s social status and his sentence to non-imprisonment. But that would be difficult to accept because of the awful implications.
If you were to accept that wealth distorted the court result that would evidence two sets of justice – one for people in the exceptionally wealthy situation of Mr. Richards, and another for the rest of us. That would mean if you or someone you know stands before a court he is likely to do hard time while a wealthy person committing the same crime will get treatment.
If punishment deters from committing crimes then you and others in your social class will be deterred but if you are wealthy, you will not be deterred. One group, yours, gets “justice.” The other group gets treatment. If you commit a crime, you are considered a criminal that makes bad decisions and does terrible things. If they commit a crime they are diagnosed with psychological problems beyond their control that require treatment – so they can get better.
Does that strike you as unfair? Do you think that what’s happening here sounds like money distorting our system of justice? Do you get an impression of judges being less beholden to duty and more beholden to social class and influence?
Two systems of justice are not fair. It’s not fair to send poor and middle class citizens to prison while giving the wealthy treatment as an alternative.
Robert H. Richards IV committed a terrible crime. He should be punished for it. That he will not fare well in prison is not an argument. It’s a pathetic justification for a bad judge making a bad decision. It deserves derision.
Richards should do hard time. It’s what they call justice.
Did wealth keep a child molester out of jail? – Salon.com
Six years ago, Robert H. Richards IV pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape of his daughter. Though the offense carried a potential sentence of up to 15 years, he has not served time in prison for his actions. In sentencing him, Judge Jan Jurden instead ordered him to participate in a treatment program for sex offenders but reasoned that the “defendant will not fare well in Level 5 [prison] setting.” The judge’s order also included the urging that “Treatment needs exceed need for punishment.” The child, by the way, was 3 years old at the time of the offense.
If “probably not going to do well in there” is the benchmark for getting out of prison sentences, I wonder who then ought to be left to dwell within our nation’s overflowing penal facilities. But to be fair, Robert H. Richards IV is a pretty special guy. In addition to being a convicted child rapist, the Delaware man is the great grandson of Du Pont family patriarch Irénée du Pont. He is listed as the owner of a 5,800-square-foot, $1.8 million home near the Du Pont family’s Winterthur Museum, and another near Rehoboth Beach. He lives on his trust fund. So, yeah, you can see how a man like that couldn’t possibly have been subjected to the rigors of a correctional center.
The case has only come to public attention this week because Richards’ ex-wife, Tracy Richards, has come forward with a Superior Court lawsuit “seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children.” Mrs. Richards says that her daughter, now aged 11, was assaulted several times by her father when she was a preschooler. Horrifyingly, the lawsuit, which includes information from the original criminal case, says the he “entered her bedroom at night while she slept and penetrated her with his fingers while masturbating.” The incidents came to light when, her grandmother says, she told the woman she didn’t want “daddy touching me anymore.” The suit also alleges that Mr. Richards hinted in 2010 that “he sexually abused his son. Those assaults began around December 2005, when the boy was 19 months old, and continued for about two years.” A probation officer’s progress report notes “the possibility of sexual contact” with the son, though police who investigated the case said at the time they didn’t have sufficient evidence to charge him of any wrongdoing toward the baby.
From around the web.
From the web site, Sheeple.
One Percenter Convicted Of Raping Infant Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’
This man should not get prison time, he should be brought out back and shot like an animal.
A Delaware man convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter only faced probation after a state Superior Court judge ruled he “will not fare well” in prison.
In her decision, Judge Jan Jurden suggested Robert H. Richards IV would benefit more from treatment. Richards, who was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009, is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. The light sentence has only became public as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, which charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his son as well.
Richards 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 admitted to 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 carries no mandatory minimum prison sentencing. He accepted, and admitted to the assault.
In her sentence, Jurden said he would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serving prison time.