Robert H. Richards IV, a wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune, has been spared prison after being convicted of raping his three year old daughter. Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden sentenced the admitted serial child-rapist to probation on the ground that he “would not fare well” in prison. The case echoes the affluenza scandal in which a judge spared a rich child a prison sentence after he had killed four people on the grounds that he was so rich that he couldn’t distinguish right from wrong.
In California, a police officer who ejaculated on a woman he’d detained at a traffic stop -and threatened to arrest her if she took action against him- was let off even after admitting what he’d done. Why? Well, the victim was a stripper on her way home from work. In officer David Alex Park’s 2007 trial, Park’s defense attorney argued that the woman “got what she wanted” and that she was “an overtly sexual person”. The jury (composed of one woman and eleven men) found Park not guilty on all counts.
Similarly, a judge in Philadelphia ruled that a sex worker whom multiple men had raped at gunpoint hadn’t been raped at all -she’d just been robbed. The victim, a twenty-year-old woman, who’d worked for an escort service and obtained clients via Craigslist, had agreed to certain sexual acts with the defendant for a set amount of money. But he lured her to an abandoned piece of property and pulled a gun -then more men started showing up. When a fifth man was invited to assault her, he instead helped her get dressed and leave because he saw that she was crying. But municipal judge Teresa Carr Deni insisted that what happened to this woman wasn’t rape -it was “theft of services”.
“I thought rape was a terrible trauma,” Deni told a Philadelphia Daily News columnist. “[A case like this] minimized true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.”
Women who are “really” raped. You can’t get much clearer than that -a sex worker just doesn’t classify as one of these victims.