An heir of one of America’s most famous families is in legal trouble again.
Robert H. Richards IV, 47, is a member of the Du Pont family. In 2008, a savvy legal defense helped him avoid prison time after he pleaded guilty to the rape of his three-year-old daughter. He has been on probation ever since. But if a new lawsuit from his ex-wife is to be believed, Richards has more trouble coming his way.
Tracy Richards filed a Superior Court lawsuit on behalf of her children seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress by Richards. The lawsuit claims that in addition to Richards’ rape of his daughter, he sexually abused his son from a young age as well.
The lawsuit first recounts Richards’ 2005 rape of his three-year-old daughter. Richards admitted that on multiple occasions, he went into the girl’s bedroom late at night and penetrated her with his fingers while he masturbated. He would tell the girl “to keep what he had done to her a secret.” The girl eventually told her grandmother about Richards’ repulsive behavior, and charges and convictions ensued.
The allegations that he abused his son stem from a 2001 polygraph test administered by his probation officer. The test was administered to gain information about additional criminal activity in Richards’ past.
During the test, Richards confessed that he “was very concerned that something happened with his son but that he has repressed the memories.’” He told the polygraph examiner that the acts “were similar to what happened with my daughter” but vowed that “whatever I did to my son, I will not do it again.”
The lawsuit asserts that Richards’ proven rape of his daughter and the alleged sexual abuse of his son inflicted “long-term injuries” on the children.
In 2008, Richards used his family’s wealth and standing in the community to avoid mandatory prison time. We’ll see if he is able to pull off that feat again.