Before Ethan Couch, the teen in the most recent "Affluenza Case" escaped prison time after killing four people while drunk driving, there was Robert Richards IV whom escaped prison time in 2009 after admitting to raping his then three year old daughter, his 8 year sentence was suspended. In a most bizarre sentencing hearing Judge Jan Jurden stated that Richards would not "fair well in prison," so instead she gave Richards probation and ordered him to a "sex offenders treatment program."
However, on Saturday, USA Today reported that just under a decade later, Richards two children, the daughter that was raped and the son he allegedly raped and live with their mother modestly in a small rented home, while Richards continues to live a life of luxury that allows him to frequent between multiple luxurious mansions. Although the "trust fund baby," is not lacking in funds, Richards ex-wife is having to sue him for the court mandated support he has yet fulfilled.
Further, although he is now a convicted pedophile, a criminal record is no obstacle for Richards because he has more than enough finances to support him through multiple lifetimes. So why was Judge Jurden so lenient on this convicted rapists who admitted to the most heinous of crimes with the victim being his own three year old daughter?
Many public defenders and defense attorneys were also baffled. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the entire story was quickly hushed no sooner than it graced the courts back in 2008. Apparently power of old American wealth had a hand in that and it seems this judge was not immune to it's powers either. Thanks to the discovery process in the ex-wife's lawsuit that brings this story and the imbalance of power and equality in justice back to light.
Senior Editor of Slate, Emily Bazelon tells us:
There are three crucial justifications for criminal punishment: retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation. It’s the first two of those goals that should be front and center when the crime is the sexual abuse of a child, with the welfare of the rapist coming in a distant third. Probation for raping a child is the kind of leniency that gives mercy a terrible name.
As if sexual assault is equivalent to financing a dog fighting gambling ring, this judge's perspective and sentencing seemingly applies empathy to the rapist and shames the victim. In considering the unique position of a just and fair judge in a case like this, it seems possible that if there are to be any judges that will look upon the guilty with unbiased, full knowledge, and understanding, they would not exclude the child rapist from fair treatment....nah, maybe not so much.
In a society where gambling casinos and state lotteries is acceptable for the wealthy and the government, it seems the irresponsible act of a black athlete from a rough town, ridden with drugs and gang violence can "fair well in prison" for his actions even as a first time offender but the affluent need protection, freedom, and treatment especially after admitting to the heinous crime of raping helpless and innocent babies. At least he was honest?