"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

Tennessee Pastor Who Repeatedly Raped Daughter, 14, Gets Light Sentence Because Jesus

May 14, 2019

By Michael Stone

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.

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3 comments on “Tennessee Pastor Who Repeatedly Raped Daughter, 14, Gets Light Sentence Because Jesus

  • 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.”

    The pigheaded egoism of Christians full of their own justification by faith is mind-boggling and, in a case such as this, where a father has repeatedly raped his teenage daughter, vilely, stomach-churningly inhuman. No mention is made in the article of any psychological assessment of the defendant; which strikes me as odd in a case like this. Refusing to take responsibility for his actions and blaming the victim have about them the odor of psychopathy. Whatever sentence would be more appropriate to the crimes committed, twelve years in prison is too short. If psychological assessment showed up psychopathy, that might have justified some kind of treatment and affected the kind of detainment, but the convict should be safely locked away for much longer than twelve years, and his so-called good works had nothing to do with it.

    The biggest concern about this case is the message that the all-too-Christian judge has sent to the victim of the crimes — that the harm and trauma that she has suffered at such a formative time in her life at the hands of someone so significant to her were of lesser importance than the defendant’s preaching and leading of Bible-study groups! I hope that poor young woman has others with her who give her the loving support and affirmation that she needs to restore her self-respect and build up her confidence for the life ahead of her, but we cannot be sure of what support may be available to her within the Christian community she lives in. Perhaps she will find better circumstances outside it.

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  • Excellent  Cairsley.   A calm and analytical comment.  I wanted to rant and rave, but I’m very glad that you got in first with sympathy for the victim and clarity about the perpetrator.

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  • 3
    Michael 100 says:

    Does anyone know if the judges in Tennessee are elected?  I suspect they are, and if so we should keep that in mind when we try to understand what happened here.  There is no question that “the good Christian man” committed a crime – he was convicted and is no longer entitled to a presumption of innocence.  However, the judge will probably be seeking reelection.  Even if the judge does not directly campaign in churches, I’m sure he is a member of at least one congregation, and probably shows his face frequently at many others.  Furthermore, when he speaks to various civic organizations, I’m sure that his introduction includes mention of the role he plays in his church(s).  I suspect too, that the judge participates in local prayer breakfasts.  So, does it stand to reason that the honorable judge would impose the maximum sentence or show some leniency in the case of a “good Christian man?”  The judge will campaign that he is tough on crime, and, if questioned about this case, he will respond that his sentence was within the range demanded by the law.  Nevertheless, the judge is unlikely to err on the side of offending highly organized “good Christian men.”

    Stalin asked how many legions the Pope has; the judge probably asks how many votes the Tennessee secularists can deliver.  And, he certainly knows exactly how many votes the churches can deliver.  Surely there are as many rational people in Tennessee as anywhere else, but unless they get organized, and flex collective muscle, they have a hard nut to crack.  

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