A judge has been accused of being “not suited to do his job” after he overturned the conviction of a man he previously found guilty of felony sexual assault.
Illinois Judge Robert Adrian also threw the prosecutor of the case out of the courtroom for disagreeing with his decision on social media.
Judge Adrian stated that 148 days in custody in county jail had been “plenty of punishment” for the teen who was previously convicted of rape, whose conviction and bail have now been overturned, and who has now been released.
The survivor 16, waived her right to anonymity on Tuesday in light of the judge’s decision and has since spoken to press. “Drew should be in prison,” she told Dailymail.com, saying the judge’s “decision is unexplainable”.
Judge Adrian had first found Clinton, 18, guilty of sexual assault in October 2021 but reversed his own verdict at the beginning of 2022 after a pair of motions by Clinton’s attorney, arguing that a mandatory minimum sentence would be inappropriate.
Clinton and the girl were at a graduation party in Quincy on 30 May 2021 at which she drank alcohol, swam in a pool and fell asleep on a couch. “I woke up at my friend’s place with a pillow over my face so I couldn’t be heard and Drew Clinton inside of me,” she told WGEM TV.
“I asked him to stop multiple times and he wouldn’t,” she said. “I finally got off the couch and pushed him off of me and he jumped up and just started playing video games as if nothing had happened.”
She was treated for alcohol poisoning and got a rape kit test the next day. In Illinois the minimum sentence for rape is four years. “By law, the court is supposed to sentence this young man to the Department of Corrections. This court will not do that. That is not just,” said Judge Adrian on 3 January.
Instead, the judge appeared to blame the teens’ parents for the rape. “They allowed 16-year-olds to bring liquor to a party. They provided liquor to underage people, and you wonder how these things happen. Well, that’s how these things happen,” said Judge Adrian.
Assistant State’s Attorney Anita Rodriguez prosecutes sex crimes for the county said that she has never seen this happen in her 40 year career. “My heart is bleeding for the victim,” Ms Rodriguez told Herald-Whig.
The Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse provided a statement on Judge Adrian’s decision on their Facebook account: “The verdict and Adrian’s comments send a chilling message to other rape victims that their behaviour, not the rapists, will be judged . Shame the victims, free the rapists. This judgment reinforces the fact that standards for women have always been impossibly high while they are impossibly low for men.”
Adams County prosecutor Josh Jones liked the post on social media, and was thrown out of court on Wednesday by Judge Adrian for doing so, Muddy River News reported.
“Mr. Jones, get out,” Judge Adrian said, “I can’t be fair with you today. Get out.”
“What happened 30 May 2021 was not okay. What Drew Clinton did to me was not okay. But what judge Adrian did on 3 January is even worse,” the survivor wrote on her Facebook wall on Wednesday. “Judge Adrian basically said it was me and my parents’ fault that Drew raped me,” she continued.
The victim’s father explained how the victim’s life has altered following the incident. “She was a cross-country runner, she ran in track, she was an honour roll student,” he said. “Now, she’s lucky to carry a C average and she’s dropped out of all sports. All of her learning is at home now. She can’t go to school.”
A petition has been launched to “File Charges Against Judge Adrian for Abuse of Judicial Discretion and Power”. The Independent has contacted Judge Robert Adrian for further comment.
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