- Robert Richards was charged with fourth-degree rape of his young daughter but was spared jail
- Shocking details about the offense and an alleged assault on his infant son have emerged in a lawsuit brought about by his ex-wife Tracy
- Richards is an unemployed heir living off his multi-million dollar trust fund
- His ex-wife is suing for compensation for her two children and the emotional distress they've endured
- In sentencing him in 2009, Judge Jurden said Richards would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than prison
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
March 30, 2014
Shocking details have emerged of how a multimillionaire heir to the du Pont chemical business was convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter but escaped serving prison time after a Delaware Superior Court judge ruled he would ‘not fare well’.
Robert H. Richards IV was charged with fourth-degree rape in 2009 after he admitted that he hadraped his daughter almost a decade ago.
News of the shocking leniency shown to Richards, 46, only emerged on Tuesday in the details of a lawsuit filed against him by his ex-wife Tracy.
In her lawsuit, Tracy Richards charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently also assaulted his toddler son as well.
Tracy Richards, who along with the two children now live in a rental home, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress on his two children.
Robert Richards is an unemployed heir living off his trust fund. He is the great grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont, a chemical baron.
According to the lawsuit filed by Richards' ex-wife, he also admitted to sexually assaulting his infant son in addition to his daughter between 2005 and 2007.
Richards was initially indicted on two counts of second-degree child rape, felonies that translate to a 10-year mandatory jail sentence per count. He was released on $60,000 bail while awaiting his charges.
Irenee du Pont
He accepted, and admitted to the assault, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden sentenced Richards to eight years in prison but suspended that for Level II probation, which requires monthly visits with a case officer.
In sentencing him, Judge Jurden said Richards would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serving any prison time.
Currently on probation, Richards has never been charged with crimes against his son.
The lawsuit claims that Richards raped his daughter, now 11, in 2005 when she was three.
Several times, he entered her bedroom at night while she slept and penetrated her with his fingers while masturbating, said the lawsuit, which includes documents from the criminal case.
Abuse of the children occurred at both of Richards' homes, including the 5,800-square-foot Greenville mansion that he paid $1.8 million for.
Richards, who is 6'4 and about 250 lbs, told the girl 'to keep what he had done to her a secret,' but in October 2007 she told her grandmother, who informed Tracy Richards, the lawsuit said.
The girl was taken to her pediatrician, whom she told about the abuse, and New Castle County police arrested him that December.
The proven abuse of his daughter and alleged assault of his son has caused his children 'long-term injuries,' the lawsuit filed Tuesday said, perhaps including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual dysfunction and shame.
His daughter also has 'repressed memories of some instances of the abuse she suffered,' and if the son was abused, the same is true with him, the suit said.
With medical treatment, the lawsuit said, those memories will likely 'begin to surface.'
'Making matters worse this self admitted rapist and child abuser has not paid a single penny to these children for his crimes. There is no provision whatsoever for them for their future after they turn 18,' said Attorney Thomas Crumplar, who is representing Tracy Richards.
At Tuesday's press conference he stood alongside Tracy and her mother Donna Burg. Burg, the maternal grandmother, is the one who alarmed Tracy of the abuse after talking to one of the grandchildren in 2007.
Richards is a scion of two prominent Delaware families - the du Pont family who built the chemical empire and the Richards family who co-founded the prestigious corporate law firm Richards Layton & Finger.
His father, Robert H. Richards III, was a partner in the law firm until his 2008 retirement.
Video: Du Pont heir sued over abusing his own children