A former church pastor in Lenoir City was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison.
David Lynn Richards Jr., who served as pastor of My Father’s House Church of God in Lenoir City for years, was convicted of the repeated rape of one of his adopted teenage daughters.
The victim, now 21, was 16 when she first alerted authorities to the abuse, which she said had been going on for two years. The girl told authorities where they could find DNA evidence at her home. She also said Richards had texted her about taking their relationship “to the next level.”
Authorities said they found the teenager’s mattress stripped bare and Richards’ phone reset to original factory settings, but they were able to recover his DNA.
With more than 30 people supporting him at his sentencing, Richards received far less than the maximum sentence of 72 years behind bars prosecutors had sought. According to published reports, the judge cited Richards’ ongoing support and his longtime ministry.