Judge reduces sentence for pastor who raped his 14-year-old daughter because he is a “man of God”

His victim, the young teen 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."


The case of Amber, an adopted girl who was repeatedly raped by her pastor father left the country in a complete shock. What made everyone even more angry is that the rapist’s sentence, which was recommended to be 71 years behind bars, was reduced to just 12.

The reason for the lenient sentence was that the pastor, 41-year-old David Richards, started studying the Bible with the inmates in jail, according to Judge Steve Sword.

Amber Richard’s ordeal started when she was 14 years old and lasted for two long years. Unlike other child victims of sexual abuse whose identity is not unveiled to the public, brave Amber wanted both her name and her story to be heard.  “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 girl said.

David never confessed of his acts against his adoptive daughter. However, forensics found traces of his semen on the girl’s bed frame. Speaking in court, he said, “I stand before you convicted of crimes I did not commit. I simply believe the system just erred in this case. I’m not sure why I’m here…but I assume it’s for his (God’s) purpose.”

Many of his close friends, including pastor David Thomspon, stood for David. “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,” Thompson said.

Amber, on the other hand, said that in case David gets out of prison, he will likely commit the crime again. “I firmly believe if given the opportunity, he would victimize another girl,” she added.

USA TODAY Network posted a video after the trial in which Amber reacts of her father’s conviction on nine felony counts, including rape, incest and sexual battery, in Knox County Criminal Court, “I’m just glad that I can finally move on with my life. And I didn’t really do this for me. I did it so it didn’t happen to anybody else. and so nobody else is in the same situation as I am, especially amazing kids. They don’t deserve to go through things like that and if I had to be the one to make sure that it never happens again then I would want to do that.”