A du Pont heir who raped his daughter was supposed to complete an intensive treatment program at an inpatient psychiatric clinic in Massachusetts as a condition of a sentence that allowed him to avoid prison time.
But he never did, court records show.
Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden ordered probation for Robert H. Richards IV in February 2009, on the condition that he be accepted for treatment at the expensive McLean Hospital near Boston, according to a transcript of the sentencing.
Jurden agreed to probation only after the prosecutor argued the state typically would demand prison time in such child abuse cases, but was willing to accept probation because of the therapy Richards would receive at the out-of-state clinic.
"If the court is not inclined to send him to the Massachusetts program, then the state would be asking for some period of jail that the court would feel would be appropriate under the circumstances," prosecutor Renee Hrivnak said during the Feb. 6, 2009 hearing.
Moments after sentencing Richards to probation on the condition that he complete treatment in Massachusetts, Jurden expressed reservations about her decision to spare him prison time, referred to as Level V sentencing.
"I have concerns about this, because arguably you should be in Level V for what you did, and I hope you understand the gravity of what you did,'' Jurden told Richards.
Richards never went to McLean Hospital, Eugene J. Maurer Jr., his attorney at the time, said Tuesday. Richards instead remained in Delaware because of issues transferring his probation there and the fact that McLean did not have required security for an inmate such as Richards, Maurer said. Richards got care in Delaware under the supervision of probation officers.
Jurden has come under fire for sentencing Richards to probation and not prison, and for her notation that he "will not fare well" behind bars, one of the factors listed as a mitigating factor in her sentencing order. During the hearing, Jurden said she was willing to order probation for Richards because he planned to seek treatment at the Boston psychiatric program and had family support, two other mitigating factors also noted in her sentencing order.
"I think that you have significant treatment needs that have to be addressed, and you have very strong family support. So, unlike many other unfortunate people who come before me, you are very lucky in that regard, and I hope you appreciate that,'' she said.
Richards, 48, is the great-grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont and the son of Robert H. Richards III, a retired partner in the Richards Layton & Finger law firm.