The prosecutors had requested 72 years, but because of his life’s work, he only received 12.
The last eight months have been a barrage of negative news, heightening people’s concerns, causing enormous existential crises, and a general sense of powerlessness and rage. Unfortunately, another one for the same pile has arrived.
According to Metro, a 41-year-old man named David Richards was sentenced to 12 years in jail in Knox County, Tennessee, for raping his adopted teen daughter.
But the worst aspect of this story is that he was given a lighter sentence because he is a pastor. Despite the fact that the molester had been sentenced to 72 years in prison, his sentence was reduced by not a few, but by 60 years. Judge Steve Sword recognized the pastor’s work and the Bible class he started while in jail as reasons for the low punishment.
The pastor was convicted on nine felony counts, including rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority person, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. For two years, he assaulted his daughter, Amber Richards. It started when she was 14 years old.
It’s unusual for sexual abuse victims to be recognized publicly. Amber, on the other hand, chose to speak out in public. Amber spoke up about the impact of the abuse in a heartbreaking message. “I wanted to get rid of my body. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what he did to me in some way.”
David, on the other hand, asserted that he was not guilty. He even said that his accuser was merely a rebellious adolescent who made first charges of sexual abuse while he was attempting to enforce harsh regulations for his children.
While his religious activities did not prevent him from committing the horrible crime, they did keep him from receiving the penalty he deserved.
However, when forensic testing was done later, traces of David’s sperm were discovered on the girl’s bed frame.
David has been steadfast in his position. When he took the witness stand in his own defense, he maintained his innocence.
“, he explained “I’m standing in front of you, accused of crimes I didn’t commit. In this scenario, I just believe the system made a mistake. I’m not sure why I’ve ended up here… But I’m guessing it’s for his (God’s) benefit.”
One of David’s colleagues pastors, David Thomspon, who shared ministry duties with him, also defended him. “, he explained “It’s difficult for me to believe he’s responsible for this. His company relies on him. His family is in desperate need of him. Our church is in desperate need of him.”
Amber, on the other hand, stated unequivocally throughout her evidence that if given the chance, Richards would not hesitate to repeat what he did. “I am convinced that if given the chance, he would prey on another girl,” she added.
Amber remarked in a video posted by USA TODAY Network following the trial, “I’m just relieved to be able to move on with my life. And I didn’t do it for myself. I did that to prevent it from happening to anyone else. As a result, no one else, especially amazing children, is in the same circumstance as myself. They don’t deserve to go through that, and if I had the power to ensure that it never occurs again, I would.”
It’s comforting to see her pick up the pieces and stand up for herself, knowing that the system at least believes in her. However, the fact that the perpetrator’s background resulted in such a mild sentence indicates that there is still much more work to be done.