Judge gives rapist Pastor lenient sentence as he's "a good Christian"
Pastor David Lynn Richards Jr has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a judge for repeatedly raping and abusing his 14-year-old adoptive daughter. But Knox County Judge Steve Sword has provoked controversy by giving the man a comparatively lenient sentence, citing that he was a "good Christian" in his sentencing.
Richards was found guilty by the jury of charges of rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure, after repeatedly sexually assaulting Amber Richards, for two years. He maintained his innocence throughout the trial, repeatedly asking for mercy and alleging that Amber has fabricated the allegations against him as an act of rebellion against his strict parenting.
Taking to the stand in his own defence, Richards stated: "I stand before you convicted of crimes I did not commit. I simply believe the system just erred in this case. I’m not sure why I’m here … but I assume it’s for [God's] purpose."
However, forensic testing performed on the adolescent girl's bed discovered clear evidence of seminal fluid with a DNA profile matching that of David Richards. Prosecutors sought the maximum penalty of 72 years incarceration for Richards' crimes.
Commenting on the sentencing after the trial ended, Amber stated: "I wanted to throw my body away. Not a day goes by that I don’t, in some way, think of what he did to me… I firmly believe if given the opportunity, he would victimise another young girl."
Despite this, Richards has since hired a new lawyer and made clear his personal intention to seek a new trial or an appeal in the future.