The Du Pont Rape – Did US legal nepotism find a new low?

Du Pont Rape

The Du Pont Rape case – Did US legal nepotism find new lows this week as it came to light that a child rapist Robert H. Richards was given an eight year suspended sentence for repeatedly raping his three year old daughter? This was a crime that he was convicted of in 2009.

Robert H. Richards is a wealthy heir to the Dupont family fortune, one of the richest 1% in US society with significant family connections, the tentacles of which reach into the higher echelons on the US judicial system and legal education system.

Richards is a descendant of two wealthy and well known Delaware families – the du Pont family, owners of the chemical empire, and the Richards family, who co-founded the largest Delaware law firm Richards Layton & Finger. It certainly helps if you have family in the legal business and an endless amount of cash if you end up in deep shit.

This case has only just been revealed due to the court filings of a civil litigation case, up until now it had been successfully hushed up. He was originally sentenced to 8 years in prison, but had it reduced to probation because the judge decided that the rapist would “not fare well” in prison and could benefit by attending a sexual offender’s rehabilitation program which he could obviously afford. In this case it was the judges view that his treatment needs exceed the need for punishment. Details remain unclear, but it seems he had a habit of penetrating his 3 year old daughter with his fingers as he masturbated.

Attorney General Beau Biden’s office had initially indicted Richards on two counts of second-degree rape of a child – Class B violent felonies that carry a mandatory 10-year prison term for each count.

Apparently just a few days before the trial started the then prosecutor Renee Hrivnak offered Richards a plea to a single count of fourth-degree rape, which carries no mandatory time, and he accepted, admitting in court that he sexually abused his kid.

Richards never spent a day in jail.

Now the question here is not really one of the sentence, as light as the sentence is, lets face it lots of sick child abusers get easy time sentences for pretty heinous crimes, many worse than this; the question that strikes me is why did the prosecutor provide the offer of a reduced sentence for a plea of guilt in the first place?

One would assume that this decision was reached in order to negate the need for a “she said” “he said” case and the associated legal costs to the US judicial system, until you consider the fact that Robert H. Richards failed a lie detector test and admitted to sexual abuse of his young son. Something went wrong here and people are focusing on the sentence instead of asking why the charges were reduced in a plea bargain.

I for one would personally like to see a more transparent statement from the office of the prosecution, detailing why they arrived at this decision. I am hoping it has more to do with getting the conviction to stick rather than the fact that the defendants family obviously had massive legal sway, significant connections, and the financial means to keep this predator out of jail.

I would like to think that this matter was not decided in a country club or some dusty corner of a gentleman’s club cigar lounge, I hope that that is not the case. Even the best case scenario, that is the scenario where the prosecutors office made a financial decision to throw their hand in rather than to fund a lengthy and difficult legal case would be very bad.

It makes me beg the question, that if it was a black, Latino or even just a run of the mill working class white Joe that had failed the lie detector test, would the prosecution have been so accommodating in its acceptance of a plea bargain?

If you are rich and have the right connections in the USA it seems as though you can get away with most things, as recent “Afluenza” cases would attest. Take a look at the video. The message this sends is that you can smoke pot as a black man and get a twenty year sentence, but you can rape your kids if you are white and rich enough and get off with it.

Lets me honest this is fucking wrong. Share if you agree. Someone needs to keep these people in check, you can start by sharing this post.