Beau Biden legacy; defended no jail for multi-billioniare who raped 3-year-old

Speaking as the featured eulogist at the funeral of Delaware’s late Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III, Barack Obama said to the assembled crowd that Biden was a selfless son and consummate public servant, as reported by the Associated Press (via the El Paso Times) on June 6, 2015. The 46-year-old son of Vice President Joe Biden was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party with his eyes set on the Delaware governor’s mansion in his sights next year, as well as rumors circulating that the eldest son of the Veep would possibly make a run at the White House in 2024.

With a tour of duty in Iraq under his belt and running as a law and order AG who would ensure the safety of children from sexual predators, Biden won a landslide victory in his 2010 re-election bid as the Blue Hen State’s AG. It was then that the eldest son of Joe Biden drew the attention of the Democratic National Committee as a possible future rising star.

Officially assigned to the Delaware National Guard’s 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade as a lawyer, Captain Biden was deployed to Iraq for a year in 2008. Assigned as an administrative officer in the relatively safety of Camp Victory, the sprawling US military base was located adjacent to the Baghdad International Airport.

Camp Victory was well known by the fighting forces stationed in-country as rather cushy living. Besides indoor plumbing, soap and clean sheets, the base was also home to several chain restaurants, to including Pizza Hut, Subway, Cinnabon, Burger King, Taco Bell, and a Green Beans coffee cafe.

Despite a resume that would make any political party eager to have him on board, the legacy of Biden may be forever sullied by his part played in the sensational but little known outside of Delaware rape trial of trust fund kid and heir to the du Pont family fortune, Robert H. Richards IV. Admitting to raping of his own daughter, Richards is the great-grandson of du Pont family patriarch Irénée du Pont and the son of Robert H. Richards III, a retired partner in the Richards Layton & Finger law firm.

The du Pont family founded the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (commonly known simply as DuPont), which is the fourth largest chemical company on the planet. Forbes magazine lists the fortune of the du Pont family of Wilmington, Delaware to be at $15 billion.

As The Delaware News Journal and also USA Today reported in 2014, Richards was indicted by Biden’s office in 2008 on two counts of second-degree rape for sexually assaulting his daughter from age 3 1/2 to almost 5. Reportedly, the charges carried a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. But later in the year, Richards was allowed to plead guilty to one count of fourth-degree rape. A government prosecutor “urged the judge to sentence Richards to probation, and Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden did, giving him an eight-year suspended sentence.”

The rather light sentence was only made public in 2014 when the left-of-center Huffington Post (Huff Po) news portal reported the judge’s sentencing as the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by his ex-wife. As cited by The News Journal, ex-wife Tracy Richards filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the rape of his daughter from ages 3 to 5, and accusing him of admitting to sexually abusing his toddler son. The Huff Po also noted that in her lawsuit, the rapist’s ex-wife “charges that he penetrated his daughter with his fingers while masturbating, and subsequently assaulted his toddler son as well.

According to USA Today, “Attorney General Beau Biden, a Democrat, did not know about a plea bargain that allowed a du Pont family heir to avoid prison for raping his young daughter.” Yet The News Journal noted that Biden stated in 2014 that “the child sexual abuse case against a du Pont family heir who raped his young daughter was weak, and prosecutors offered an appropriate plea bargain that spared him prison while convicting him of a felony sex crime.”

In a letter submitted to The News Journal, Biden penned, “This was not a strong case, and a loss at trial was a distinct possibility.” Biden also defended Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden, who noted in her sentencing order that the wealthy father “will not fare well” in prison. Biden said the judge “exercised sound discretion based solely on the merits of the case before her” and doesn’t allow a defendant’s “wealth or social status” to influence her decisions.