David Richards was convicted of rape, incest, and sexual battery. The sentence was 60 years less that prosecutors sought. The judge was so impressed with Richards’ life as a pastor and the bible study group he started while in jail, that he handed down the less-harsh penalty. Prosecutors sought the maximum of 72 years behind bars. The judge acknowledged Richards’ longtime ministry — he began a Bible study among his fellow inmates while jailed at the Knox County Detention Facility — and the support he still receives as mitigating factors.
In her victim’s statement to the court, Richard’s adopted daughter Amber Richards said the experience made her want 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 girl.”
Forensic testing found Richard’s semen on his daughter’s bed.