The 41-year-old defendant, David, reportedly ra-ed his adopted daughter for two years, starting when she was just 14 years old, court records say. Following only three days of testimony, jury found him guilty of nine felony counts, including ra-e, inc-st, and se-ual battery by an authority figure. He was given a soft sentence by the judge, per reports. The defendant’s daughter, Amber, waived her anonymity to speak out, saying she believes her father would attack another girl, given the opportunity, according to reports. “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,” The woman, who was 21 when her dad was finally convicted, recalled in an emotional victim statement. “I firmly believe if given the opportunity, he would victimize another girl,” she warned.
“I didn’t really do this for me I did it so it didn’t happen to anyone else, so nobody’s in the same situation as I am, especially kids, they don’t deserve to go through things to do that,” she explained. “If I have to be the one to make sure that it never happens again I don’t mind doing that,” she added. Richards, of course, had a different version of events than his victim. Throughout his trial, David maintained his innocence and attempted to paint his daughter as a rebellious teenager who made allegations of se-ual abuse to act out against his strict rules for his children. Forensic testing, however, uncovered the presence of David’s s-men, confirmed by DNA testing, on the girl’s bed frame, even though David allegedly tried to destroy the evidence.
“She told authorities where they could find DNA evidence at her home and said David had texted her about taking their relationship to the next level. Authorities said they found her mattress stripped bare and his phone factory reset, but they were able to recover his DNA.” Even with the evidence against him, David, a former a pastor at My Father’s House Church of God, was adamant that he was innocent. “I stand before you convicted of crimes I did not commit. I simply believe the system just erred in this case,” he said as he asked for leniency. “I’m not sure why I’m here. … but I assume it’s for His (God’s) purpose.” Jurors, however, believed the victim’s account of how David began to touch her inappropriately, three years after he began fostering her and her three biological siblings. Many apparently believed David, though, as more than 30 members of his congregation sat on his side of the courtroom to show their support. In contrast, Amber sat on the opposite side of the courtroom, joined only by a half-dozen others, including her biological parents after having reconnected in recent years.
“I find it impossible for me to believe he’s guilty of this,” Thompson, who shared ministry duties with David, testified in his defense. “His business needs him. His family needs him. Our church needs him,” he added. Apparently, Judge Sword seemingly agreed, citing David’s work as a pastor and the Bible study group he began at the detention facility as mitigating factors as he handed down a lenient sentence. After being convicted of his crimes, David was sentenced to just 12 years in jail, which is 60 years less than the maximum term sought by prosecutors. After 9 years, he’ll be eligible for parole. Judge Sword justified the soft sentence because the defendant is a “man of God.” According to reports, Judge Sword weighed the severity of the crimes against an outpouring of support for the man from friends and family in court. Dear readers, we are republishing this story, amid recent reports that child se-ual abuse has surged in the United States during the pandemic.