A former pastor in Tennessee has been found guilty of repeatedly raping his adopted daughter for two years.
Prosecutors were pushing for the maximum sentence of 72 years in prison for David Richards, who was found guilty of nine felony counts of rape, incest, and sexual battery.
The judge in the case, Steven Sword, decided to only give a 12-year sentence.
Sword, when handing out the sentence, acknowledged Richards's longtime ministry. Richards apparently started a Bible study with his fellow inmates while he was held at the Knox County Detention Facility.
More than thirty people, most of them from Richards's church, showed up in court to support him during the sentencing.
David Thompson, who shared minister duties at the church, 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."
Well, David, his semen was found on his daughter's bed-frame, among other pieces of evidence, so deal with it. And as for "his family needs him," uhhh... I think his family should get the hell away from him.
Richards began raping his adopted daughter, Amber, when she was 14-years-old. She endured the abuse for two years before reporting it to authorities.
Speaking before the court, 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 victimize another young girl."
This is a despicable perversion of justice. Just because this man served as a church pastor, the judge decided that he should be as lenient as possible. The court found this guy guilty of raping his own adopted daughter, and the judge basically said, "Yeah, but he's a good guy! He's a pastor! Let's not be too hard on him!"
What the fuck?
This is the kind of absolutely insane behavior that religion will bring out of people. I bet that if the accused had been an atheist, or even just a non-Christian, that he would be serving those 72 years.