A wealthy du Pont heir has recently dodged a prison sentence for raping his 3-year-old daughter. A Superior Court judge noted that Robert H. Richards IV “will not fare well” in prison, and thus needed treatment instead of prison.
Judge Jan Jurden said these are “unique circumstances” that she was forced to consider when deciding the punishment for fourth-degree rape. Prison life, she said, would have adversely affected Richards. Thus, Richards’ 2009 rape case ended this month with disappointed attorneys for his ex-wife Tracy, who said that justice had not been served.
Tracy’s lawsuit sought compensatory and punitive damages for the sexual abuse of their daughter.
Defense lawyers and prosecutors said that the judge is normally a quite tough sentencing judge. They were at a loss to explain the obvious reason why she was so lenient with this “one percenter.”
“It’s an extremely rare circumstance that prison serves the inmate well,” Delaware Public Defender Brendan J. O’Neill said. “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.”
O’Neill said he has never seen a judge cite such a thing as a “reason not to send someone to jail.”
What do you think is the reason why this rapist got off without prison time?
(Article M.B. David)