Nothing says “good Christian man” like rape and incest: Tennessee Pastor David Richards received a light sentence after being convicted of repeatedly raping his 14-year-old daughter.
In a despicable miscarriage of justice, Judge Steven Sword sentenced Pastor Richards to only 12 years in prison for repeatedly raping his 14-year-old daughter over the course of several years. In court, prosecutors argued the severity and heinous nature of the crimes deserved a minimum of 72 years in prison, but Judge Steven Sword felt otherwise.
Judge Sword, showing sympathy and empathy for the rapist, while minimizing the human suffering caused by Pastor Richards, cited the “good work” the rapist and incestuous pedophile had done in the community in an attempt to justify the light sentence.
During sentencing, Judge Sword praised Pastor Richards’ longtime ministry and the support he still receives from his congregation as mitigating factors. Judge Sword also praised Pastor Richards for leading a Bible study while incarcerated.
Earlier this year a jury found Pastor Richards guilty on nine felony counts, including rape, incest and sexual battery by an authority figure.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the Tennessee pastor raped and sexually abused his daughter Amber Richards for two years beginning when she was 14.
Amber Richards gave a moving victim statement Thursday, saying:
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 victimize another girl.
However, despite the overwhelming evidence, including forensic evidence showing traces of Richards’ semen on his daughter’s bed frame, many in the community refused to believe that Pastor Richards was a rapist.
For example, Pastor David Thompson, who shared ministry duties with Pastor Richards at My Father’s House Church of God in Lenoir City, said:
I find it impossible for me to believe he’s guilty of this. His business needs him. His family needs him. Our church needs him.
In fact, over 30 parishioners from the church came to court to show support not for the victim, but for the rapist.
At sentencing, Pastor Richards refused to take responsibility for his heinous crimes. Instead, the “good Christian man” blamed the victim while claiming he was innocent. Pastor Richards said:
I stand before you convicted of crimes I did not commit. … I’m not sure why I’m here. … but I assume it’s for His purpose.
Bottom line: Tennessee Pastor David Richards was supposed to get 72 years in prison after being found guilty of repeatedly raping his 14-year-old daughter, but instead he received only 12 years because Judge Steven Sword admired the good works of this “good Christian man.”