A former pastor who repeatedly raped his adopted daughter has been spared decades behind bars because the 'church needs him'.
Sick David Richards was sentenced to 12 years in prison - 60 years less than the 72 years’ prosecutors were seeking.
It comes after the judge was reportedly impressed by the pervert's religious leadership.
A court in Knoxville, Tennessee, heard the sickening abuse began when Amber Richards was just 14.
Waiving her right to anonymity, she said in a victim impact statement: "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 victimise another young girl."
Richards, 41, was supported by a large number of parishioners, and denied the offences throughout, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
He was found guilty of nine offences including rape, incest and sexual battery.
Maintaining his innocence, Richards told the could the system had "erred", and added: "I'm not sure why I'm here... but I assume it's for His purpose."
During his trial he claimed that Ms Richards had accused him after he imposed strict rules for his children.
But his semen was discovered on her bed frame.
Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword acknowledged the support shown for the rapist before sentencing.
Among his supporters was fellow minister David Thompson, who said it was "impossible" to believe Richards was guilty.
He said: "Our church needs him."
Richards reportedly intends to seek a new trial.