Prosecutors in the Child Abuse Unit obtained multiple convictions against a foster father who sexually abused his adopted daughter. David Lynn Richards, Jr., 41, was convicted of Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure, Rape, Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure, Sexual Activity Involving a Minor, and Incest. Judge Steve Sword revoked the Defendant’s bond and set the case for sentencing on March 28.
In a four-day trial, Assistant District Attorney Nate Ogle and Acting Assistant District Attorney Sharon Kumi explained to the jury that in December 2011, Richards began raping and sexually molesting his adopted daughter, who was fourteen at the time. The abuse continued for two years until the victim disclosed what was happening to her high school guidance counselor. That day, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Alan Merritt led the investigation that recovered DNA from the victim’s bed. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was able to confirm the DNA sample belonged to Richards. Officers also discovered that as soon as the victim disclosed the abuse, Richards tried to destroy evidence of his crime by resetting his phone, remotely resetting the victim’s phone, and washing the sheets on the victim’s bed.
“Instead of being able to trust the only parent in her home, this child was abused and victimized by that figure,” said DA Charme Allen. “We will make sure this offender is kept away from children for as long as possible.”
Rape is a Class B felony carrying a punishment from eight to twelve years. Sexual Battery by an Authority Figure, Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure, and Incest are Class C felonies carrying a punishment from three to six years in prison. At the hearing in March, prosecutors will seek consecutive sentencing and ask for the maximum sentence possible.