A pastor from Tennessee, USA, that raped his own 14-year-old daughter for 2 years was given a soft prison sentence by a judge because he is a “man of God”.
41-year-old David Richards, the pastor, was sentenced by a judge to 12 years in prison for raping his minor daughter for 2 years.
The sentence that he got is 60 years less than the maximum term that was sought by prosecutors.
Judge Steven Sword cited his work as a pastor and the Bible study group he began in jail as mitigating factors in the lenient sentence.
David Richards, who is from Knox County Tennessee, was found guilty of rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure for abusing his adopted daughter for 2 years.
Amber, the daughter, who waived her right to anonymity, said that the pastor could attack any other girl.
In an emotional statement that she released, Amber said:
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 girl.
Richards continued to maintain his innocence throughout the trial and tried to pain his accuser as a rebellious teenager who made the allegations to act out against how he acted strictly towards his children.
However, test results showed something different.
Authorities found the semen of Richards on the bed frame of the girl.
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 His (God’s) purpose.
Speaking after her step-father was found guilty, Amber said:
I’m glad I can finally move on with my life. I didn’t really do this for me I did it so it didn’t happen to anyone else, so nobody’s in the same situation as I am, especially kids, they don’t deserve to go through things to do that. If I have to be the one to make sure that it never happens again I don’t mind doing that.
Richards was a former pastor at the My Father’s House Church of God in Lenoir City.
More than 30 members of his congregation sat on his side of the courtroom to show their support.
Richards is seeking a new trial.