Judge: Prison Too Rough for Millionaire Child Rapist

Du Pont heir gets treatment for rape of daughter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2014 10:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – You'd expect some jail time for a child rapist, right? Not so for du Pont heir Robert H. Richards IV, who admitted to raping his 3-year-old daughter almost a decade ago, the Daily Mail reports. In a 2009 case that's only now coming to light, the News Journal reports that Delaware Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richards to an eight-year prison term but suspended it for probation, plus a sex offenders rehabilitation program, because Richards "will not fare well" in prison and "treatment needs exceed need for punishment." The News Journal calls it "a rare and puzzling rationale" from a judge who is known for her tough sentencing, especially given that treatment is usually reserved for first-time drug offenders, drunk drivers, and the mentally ill.

While some attorneys say such a sentence isn't unheard of, a public defender notes that the case raises questions about "how a person with great wealth may be treated by the system." A defense lawyer adds, "I've never heard of the judge saying in general that he is not going to do well ... Who thrives in jail?" A suit recently filed against Richards by his ex-wife is seeking damages for assaults on the couple's two children. Initially indicted on two counts of second-degree child rape, Richards took a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape, which carries no mandatory minimum prison sentence, the Daily Mail notes.

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