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Child rapist deserves harsher punishment

Bobby Joe Magers Jr.
April 8, 2014
Filed under Opinion, Top Stories

Harming a child is the worst crime an adult can commit. Our society does not tolerate the inhumane treatment of children, nor should it.

Robert H. Richards IV, an heir to the DuPont fortune was charged with “raping his 3-year-old daughter,” according to Ashley Alman of the Huffington Post. He also admitted to assaulting his son as well, Alman said.

Since Richards lives off a trust fund provided by the wealth of his family, he was able to hire “one of the state’s top law firms,” according to Alman, “and was offered a plea deal of one count of fourth-degree rape.”

Richards was sentenced to — wait for it — no prison time.

In the sentencing — where Richards received rehabilitation instead of a prison cell — Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden stated that the convicted child rapist “‘will not fare well’ in prison,” according to Alman.

Of course he won’t fare well. He should face the feelings of being humiliated, abused, objectified and assaulted, like the two victims whose lives he destroyed.

Last week in Green Bay, police charged twenty suspects in a child sex predator sting.

“Authorities announced that 19 men were arrested Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a crackdown on sex predators by 11 police agencies,” according to the Green Bay-Press Gazette.

These suspects tried to solicit what they thought were minor children, male and female, for sex. The twentieth suspect will be charged with “use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime and child enticement,” according to the Press Gazette.

Child enticement is considered a class BC felony which results in up to a $10,000 fine or imprisonment not to exceed 30 years, according to the Wisconsin Penal code. Thirty years of imprisonment is a possibility for a suspect who didn’t touch a child, yet Richards gets rehabilitation for raping his three-year-old daughter?

Richards’ rape case from 2009 became public this month only after his ex-wife Tracy had lawyers file a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for her daughter’s abuse at Richards’ hands, according to the News Journal writer Cris Barrish.

With the continuous news surrounding child trafficking, sex predators and abducted children, society hopes when these people are brought to justice, the legal system will distribute prison sentences to prevent other children from being destroyed.

Prison is a place where society sends people who decide not to conform to the rules everybody else follows. The notion in part is to rehabilitate the convicted or at least get them off the streets so they can’t harm the citizens who want to live honest lives.

Prison, therefore, becomes a society with its own rules of behavior. Within this society, the way each inmate is treated by his or her peers usually depends on the crime he or she committed — a social hierarchy even in prison.

“One of (the) rules is that not all inmates are equal,” Legal Source: 360 writer Shawn Wells said.

The political structure of prison is dictated by crime and each crime has status.

“Murderers often rank atop the social order in prison,” Wells said. “One of the vilest of crimes society knows is one of the most celebrated among the prison population.”

The most despised criminals are rapists and child molesters.

“Below even rapists at the bottom of this inmate-created social ranking are child molesters,” Wells said. “It’s not uncommon for prison guards to see inmates cursing child molesters, assaulting child molesters or worse.”

The “worse” is this unknown agreement society has with the prison inmates to dish out the kind of justice the court system cannot.

Judge Jurden claims Richards “would benefit from participating in a sex offenders rehabilitation program rather than serve prison time,” writes Alman.

No, Richards needs to suffer the consequences that await him in prison. Of course there is no guarantee Richards would suffer any harm.

As Wells writes, “There is no doubt that child molestation is one of the worst crimes there is…This and other factors make the child molester easy targets for the other inmates.”

By preventing Richards from facing his fate in prison — where he belongs — society was let down and even worse, Richards basically got away with raping a 3-year-old baby, which is also incest by the way.

Obviously a wealthy man with access to great law firms can do the unspeakable and walk away. Society expected this despicable human being to face the prison hierarchy and get to know what it feels like to be victimized. Yet, Judge Jurden prevented this justice.

The children have been let down, but hopefully this tragedy can be righted. Hopefully karma, at the very least, will come back to haunt Richards and Judge Jurden.