The Bible and a bunch of religious fanatics who look up to your godly ways could be your knight in shining armour when the long arm of the law finally catches up with you morally impaired behaviour as a pastor.
41-year old David Richards who was found guilty of rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure for abusing his daughter, Amber Richards, for two years beginning when she was 14, was handed a lenient sentence by a judge who was blown away by his alleged religious faith.
Prosecutors of the case sought to slap him with a maximum 72-year sentence but David was sentenced to 12-years in prison by the merciful judge who was thrown off balance by Richard’s work as a pastor and the Bible study he began in jail.
He was convicted in February after his adopted daughter came forth and publicly testified against him.
“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. I firmly believe if given the opportunity, he would victimize another girl,’ she said.
Forensic testing found traces of Richards’ DNA in his adopted daughter, but he claimed he pleaded not guilty as he took the witness stand in his own defence. He was formerly a pastor at My Father’s House Church of God in Lenoir City. Joined by more than 30 supportive parishioners and friends in the courtroom the man of God faulted the authority.
“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,” he said.
One church member went ahead to testify in his defence saying it was impossible for a man of God to be guilty and that both his family and the church need him as he is currently seeking a new trial.