KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A former pastor who repeatedly raped his adopted teenage daughter has been given an effective 12 year prison sentence. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports prosecutors sought the maximum term of 72 years behind bars.
Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword cited David Richards longtime ministry and the support he still receives as mitigating factors. More than 30 people showed up to support Richards, a convicted rapist, at the sentencing last week.
The victim was 16 when she reported the abuse, saying it began two years earlier. She told authorities where they could find DNA evidence at her home and said Richards 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.
Richards was found guilty of nine felonies. Those include rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure.
You can read more about this case at the Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com