A 2008 child sexual abuse case involving one of Delaware’s most prominent names is back in the spotlight.
The case involves the great grandson of Irenee du Pont. The charges involve his children and were brought forward by the children’s mother, Tracy Richards, who is seeking monetary damages for their personal injuries.
“They face not only major counseling expenses, but like all victims, they face a lifetime of problems,” said Thomas Crumplar, the Wilmington-based attorney who is representing Richards.
On Tuesday, Richards filed a lawsuit against her former husband, Robert Richards IV, an heir to the du Pont family fortune. According to court documents, Richards IV plead guilty in 2008 in Superior Court to a felony that included one count of intentional 4th degree rape and sexual penetration of his daughter, who was 3 years old when the abuse started.
He later admitted to more sexual abuse in 2010 that began when his son was just 19 months. He initially denied any abuse prior to failing a lie detector test six years ago.
“Making matters worse, this self-admitted rapist and child abuser has not paid a single penny to these children for his crimes,” said Crumplar, who stood alongside Tracy and her mother Donna Burg during a press conference. “There is no provision whatsoever for them for their future after they turn 18.”
Burg, the children’s maternal grandmother, is the one who alerted Tracy to the abuse after talking to one of the grandchildren in 2007.
Although several years have passed since the sexual abuse case was heard in court, Crumplar said that his client is now concerned about obtaining medical care for her children, who could suffer long-term injuries such as depression, suicidal thoughts or substance abuse. It is believed that memories of abuse could begin to resurface, therefore treatment is necessary for the children who are presently 11 and 9 years old.
The office of attorney Eugene Maurer, who represented Richards IV in 2008, confirmed that the defendant never served jail time for sexual abuse. However, Richards IV was admitted into several medical treatment facilities, including one in Chester, Pa., and still remains on probation.
However, according to Crumplar, the children’s mother still has concerns. Richards IV is currently listed on the Delaware State Police Sex Offender Central Registry.
“She is worried that her children may not have been the first to be abused by her husband, he had been a camp counselor before, so she calls upon anyone who may know anything about Robert H. Richards IV to come forward to help her, her children and any other victims,” Crumplar said.