Affluenza at it’s best! Or worst? Robert H. Richards IV, the millionaire heir to the fortune of the American chemical company du Pont, escaped prison time after raping his three-year old daughter.
Robert H Richards IV pleaded guilty in 2008 to fourth degree rape, which usually carries a 15-year sentence in the US. At the time the judge ruled that the heir to the du Pont fortune should not face any jail time for raping his three-year-old daughter. Well, that sounds completely unreasonable – what was the judge’s justification?
The Superior Court judge wrote in her order that Richards “will not fare well” in prison and suggested that he needed treatment instead of time behind bars. I think not faring well in prison is the whole point… but not according to Judge Jan Jurden who suspended all of Richards’ prison time for probation.
While the rape case is a few years old and received little media attention at the time, it is making headlines again after Richards’ ex-wife filed a lawsuit in March seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and inflicting emotional distress on his two children, after claiming he also abused their 19-month-old son around the same time.
Richards, who is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville , Delaware, and also owns a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach – so I’m sure having a monthly visit from a probation officer has been equally as punishing as prison time.
The lax sentence for the du Pont heir brings to mind the affluenza defense used by that Texas brat who killed four people while drunk driving to escape prison time.
Lesson learned: You can kill people while driving drunk and even rape your 3-year-old daughter but as long as your skin is white and your parents’ bank account is green, it’ll all work out in the end. Great lesson!