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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Robert H. Richards IV: The Case of the Rich Pedophile

     In 2005, 38-year-old Robert H. Richards IV resided with his wife Tracy and their three-year-old daughter and 19-month-old son. Mr. Richards, the heir to a pair of family fortunes, lived in a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville, Delaware. He was a member of the du Pont family, the people who built a worldwide chemical empire, and was the son of a prominent Delaware attorney. Richards also owned a luxury home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach.

     In October 2007 Richards' daughter, now almost six, told her grandmother, Donna Burg, that her father had sexually assaulted her several times in 2005. According to the girl her father had penetrated her with his finger at night in her bedroom. He told his daughter to keep what he had done to her a secret. The grandmother passed this information on to the victim's mother, Tracy Richards. The mother took her daughter to a pediatrician who confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted.

     In December 2007 a grand jury sitting in New Castle County indicted Robert Richards on two counts of second-degree rape. If convicted of the felonies Richards faced a mandatory prison sentence. Following his arrest he retained the services of a high-powered Delaware defense attorney named Eugene J. Maurer Jr.

     Having denied his daughter's accusations Richards agreed to take a polygraph test. When advised by the lie detection examiner that he had failed the test Richards confessed to sexually assaulting his daughter. He said he was mentally ill and in need of psychiatric treatment.

     In June 2008 attorney Maurer and New Castle County prosecutor Renee Hrivnak agreed on a plea arrangement. According to the deal Richards would plead guilty to one count of fourth-degree rape. This was not an offense that called for an automatic stretch in prison.

     Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden, in January 2009, sentenced Richards to Level 2 probation. Under the terms of his sentence Richards would visit a case officer once a month. He also paid a $4,395 fine to the Delaware Violent Crimes Compensation Board.

     Judge Jurden, in justifying the probated sentence, wrote that prison life would be especially difficult for Mr. Richards and that he would not fare well behind bars. In her mind prison was for drug dealers, robbers and murderers, not for child molesters in need of psychiatric treatment.

     In March 2014, Robert Richards' ex-wife Tracy filed a lawsuit against him on behalf of their children. The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence and the intentional infliction of emotional stress on his daughter and her younger brother.

     According to the affidavit in support of the lawsuit, Richards, in anticipation of a second polygraph test in April 2010, expressed concern about something he had done to his son in December 2005. Richards was worried that he had sexually assaulted the then 19-month-old boy. Richards promised that whatever he had done to that child it would not happen again.

     Richards' incriminating remarks, sparked by the lie detector test he took in 2010 following his probated sentence for sexually assaulting his daughter, were not make public until Tracy Richards filed her lawsuit. The new information inflamed a public already angry over what seemed to be Richards' preferential treatment by the prosecutor and Judge Jurden.

    On June 28, 2014 Robert Richards' attorney negotiated a settlement agreement with his client's former wife. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. No charges were filed against Richards in connection with the possible molestation of his son.

5 comments:

  1. Stories like this make me SO angry! This slimy creature is guilty of ruining the lives of two children, and gets coddled because he's rich? Those children will be affected by this horrific crime all their lives (trust me, I know this for a fact) and their abuser gets a slap on the wrist... a very light little slap. It really is sickening.

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  2. Pedophile/child molestor Robert Richards IV is truly a piece of filth, and should be incarcerated with no chance of parole for the safety of children.

    What I want to know is why hasn't there been more of an outcry against enablers of these kinds of crimes - in this case Judge Jan Durden, who willingly protects molestors of children who haven't even reached kindergarden? Why is this pathetic POS allowed to remain in a job she's clearly unable and/or unwilling to perform?

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    1. Anon, I guess everyone is too busy pointing fingers in other directions to give a $#!+ about protecting children. Oh, yeah, and money talks... it shouts so loud it drowns out the whimpers of the abused kids.

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  3. I'm all for consequences for crimes, but does the system we have deliver those appropriately?

    Does anyone here have experience prosecuting any sexual assault case, let alone child rape? We saw that when a former high school student accused a Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, she got death threats, and he got confirmed. Where's the outrage there?

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  4. feb2 anon, isn't anyone who went to high school a former high school student? Didn't that former student's own friends also dispute her story? When politics are at play, can you really trust allegations which were only made upon nomination? You seem to be among those who explicitly trust women always. What about those who have lied about rape seeking attention? The difference here is that this man admitted to raping his daughter and both joe biden's son (the prosecutor), and the judge felt probation was a fair punishment.

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