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Judge is yanked from the bench after reversing his own rape conviction of an 18-yr-old


A judge in Illinois has been removed from the bench after a hearing following his overturning of a rape conviction.

Adams County Judge Robert Adrian was removed by the Illinois Courts Commission last week following a three-day hearing in Chicago. The commission’s decision said Adrian’s claim that “he reversed his guilty finding based on his reconsideration of the evidence and his conclusion that the State had failed to prove its case to be a subterfuge – respondent’s attempt to justify the reversal post hoc.”

“Adrian had found then-18-year-old Drew Clinton of Taylor, Michigan, guilty of sexually assaulting 16-year-old Cameron Vaughan during a May 2021 graduation party in October 2021,” the Daily Mail reported. “But at the sentencing hearing, months after his conviction, Adrian said the boy had served ‘plenty’ of time behind bars – 148 days – and that while he couldn’t sentence him to time served, he could overturn the verdict and set him free.”

The courts commission, in its decision, said that the judge had “‘engaged in multiple instances of misconduct” and “abused his position of power to indulge his own sense of justice while circumventing the law.”

Adrian overturned Clinton’s conviction in January 2022, prompting the state Judicial Inquiry Board to file the complaint against him.

“Cameron, now 18 years old, waived her right to anonymity and said she passed out drunk in the basement and woke up to find Clinton sexually assaulting her while holding a pillow over her face,” Daily Mail reported. “Clinton claimed they had consensual sex and that she was not as drunk as she claims she was.”

“He has no prior record, none whatsoever,” the judge had said at the time as Clinton could have served a minimum of four years, according to state law.

“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. There is no way for what happened in this case that this teenager should go to the Department of Corrections. I will not do that,” Adrian said.

The commission said it had “ample grounds” to remove the judge rather than just censure him or suspend him without pay.

“The complaint said Adrian had acknowledged he was supposed to impose the mandatory four-year sentence against Clinton, but that he would not send him to prison,” according to Daily Mail. “Adrian was also accused of lying under oath about his reasons for reversing the conviction and of kicking out a prosecutor from the courtroom after they liked a social media post critical of the judge.”

“According to court transcripts, after he reversed Clinton’s conviction, Adrian blamed parents and adults for ‘having parties for teenagers, and they allow coeds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool. And, no, underwear is not the same as swimming suits,'” the outlet reported.

Speaking with the Chicago Tribune after the decision to remove the judge, Vaughan said she was “very happy that the commission could see all the wrong and all the lies that he told the entire time. I’m so unbelievably happy right now. He can´t hurt anybody else. He can’t ruin anyone else’s life.”

Meanwhile, Adrian called out the decision as “totally a miscarriage of justice. I did what was right. I’ve always told the truth about it.”

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