|Robert H. Richards|
Robert H. Richards, 46, is a descendant of the du Pont family, which built a chemical empire, and the Richards family, which co-founded the prestigious corporate law firm Richards, Layton & Finger. Richards "is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, reports the News Journal. It says he owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville and a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach."
Initially accused of two counts of second-degree rape of a child, punishable by ten years in prison for each count, Richards finally pleaded guilty in 2008 to one count of fourth-degree rape in order to avoid jail time. Fourth-degree rape is "a Class C violent felony that can bring up to 15 years in prison, though guidelines suggest zero to 2 1/2 years."
At Richards' 2009 sentencing, prosecutor Renee Hrivnak recommended probation, reports the paper. [Attorney General Beau] Biden's chief deputy Ian R. McConnel told the website that in retrospect, he wished she would have sought prison time.The details are becoming public now because Richards' wife has filed a lawsuit seeking damages against him. The suit also alleges Richards also abused his toddler son.
Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden's sentencing order for Richards suggested that he needed treatment instead of prison time and considered unique circumstances when deciding his fate...Public Defender Brendan J. O'Neill commented on the judge's assessment of the situation:
"It's an extremely rare circumstance that prison serves the inmate well. 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."
As a rule of thumb, prison inmates view child rapists as lower than pond scum ... and treat them accordingly.
Unless, perhaps, they "would not fare well" in prison.