The probationary sentence a Delaware judge gave a DuPont heir in 2009 for raping his young daughter has become an issue because his ex-wife has sued him. Robert H. Richards IV was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to fourth-degree rape. But Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden suspended the custodial sentence.
"Defendant will not fare well in Level 5 setting," Jurden wrote in her sentencing report, using the state's legal term for prison.
Tracy Richards, in a lawsuit filed this month, charges that her former husband sexually molested their baby son as well as their daughter. Police reports say the charge the son was molested was investigated in 2010 without result.
Richards is a great-grandson of Irenee du Pont, who served as president of the chemical company founded by his ancestor, E.I. du Pont. He is unemployed, living on a family trust fund and owns homes in Greenville, an upscale Wilmington suburb, and on Delaware coast near Rehoboth Beach.
A distant cousin, John E. du Pont, was found guilty but mentally ill in 1997 of killing Dave Schultz, an Olympic champion freestyle wrester who was training at a facility du Pont established on his estate in the Philadelphia area. John du Pont died in a Pennsylvania prison in 2010.