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Lawsuit: Du Pont heir, convicted of rape, abused 2nd child

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WILMINGTON, Del. - A du Pont family heir who served no prison time for raping his 3-year-old daughter almost a decade ago is now being sued by his ex-wife, who accuses him of also sexually abusing his toddler son, reports Delaware's The News Journal.

The Journal reports that the lawsuit against 47-year-old Robert H. Richards IV, filed Tuesday in Superior Court by ex-wife Tracy Richards on behalf of her children, provides extensive details about a child rape case that authorities in Delaware never made public.

Tracy Richards is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for assault, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, according to the paper. The amount she is seeking has not been reported.

The lawsuit claims Richards raped his daughter, now 11, in 2005 when she was 3, telling her "to keep what he had done to her a secret." The girl told her grandmother in October 2007, and Robert Richards pleaded guilty in June 2008 to one count of fourth-degree rape to avoid jail time, court records show.

The lawsuit also asserts that Richards admitted while on probation in April 2010 that he had also sexually abused his son. The News Journal reports that the assaults began around December 2005 - when the boy was just 19 months old - and carried on for roughly two years, according to the lawsuit.

Richards' daughter has "repressed memories of some instances of the abuse she suffered," the suit stated. It also alleged that the son will likely suffer similar "long-term injuries" as a result of the abuse.

"This self-confessed, admitted rapist and child abuser didn't go to jail, and, in fact, he stays in luxury where he has always been," attorney Thomas C. Crumplar, who represents the children and Tracy Richards, said during a news conference Tuesday, reports the News Journal.

A scion of two prominent Delaware families, Richards is currently on probation, according to the paper. He has never been charged with crimes against his son.

Richards is a relative of the chemical empire du Pont family and the son of Robert H. Richards III, a partner in the prestigious Richards Layton & Finger corporate law firm, the paper reports.

  • Crimesider Staff

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