The Corner

Rape Your Daughter (and Son) and Walk

If you have a strong stomach, and don’t mind being enraged, you might read this story about, well:

WILMINGTON, DEL. — A du Pont family heir who raped his 3-year-old daughter nearly a decade ago but received no prison time now faces a lawsuit from his former wife that accuses him of sexually abusing his toddler son.

Robert H. Richards IV, 47, who is supported by a trust fund and who paid $1.8 million for his 5,800-square-foot mansion near Winterthur Museum, pleaded guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape of his daughter. Currently on probation, he has never been charged with crimes against his son.

The lawsuit provides in-depth details about a child rape case that Delaware authorities never disclosed publicly and did not receive media attention.

Given the obscenity of the charge and the arguably greater obscenity of the light sentence, I was open to the idea that maybe there’s more than meets the eye to the case. Maybe this is a lot of “he said, she said” in an ugly divorce proceeding. The only problem with that is he confessed to sexually assaulting his nineteen month old son. And this was in the process of admitting to the “fourth degree” rape of his daughter.

The judge apparently let him off with probation because he wouldn’t “fare well” in prison. That’s no doubt true. Neither would most of us. Since when is the test for a prison sentence whether or not the convict will find prison a rewarding experience? The whole thing is so disgusting. Among the things I’d like to know: Why did the prosecutors accept such a plea bargain? Why and how was this kept from the public eye? And how much crack was the judge smoking?  

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