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Illinois Judge Removed From Bench After Reversing Rape Conviction

An Illinois judge who reversed a man’s rape conviction involving a 16-year-old girl has been removed from the bench after a judicial oversight panel found he circumvented the law and engaged in misconduct. The Illinois Courts Commission removed Adams County Judge Robert Adrian on Friday after a three-day hearing in November, The decision said Adrian “engaged in multiple instances of misconduct” and “abused his position of power to indulge his own sense of justice while circumventing the law,” reports the Associated Press.

In October 2021, Adrian found then 18-year-old Drew Clinton of Taylor, Mi., guilty of sexual assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a May 2021 graduation party. The state Judicial Inquiry Board filed a complaint against Adrian after the judge threw out Clinton’s conviction in January 2022, saying that the 148 days Clinton had spent in jail was punishment enough. 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. “That is not just,” Adrian said at the sentencing hearing. “I will not do that.” Clinton's victim, Cameron Vaughan, said Adrian’s reversal of Clinton’s verdict left her “completely shocked” but determined to oust the judge. Vaughan said that the judge told the court “this is what happens whenever parents allow teenagers to drink alcohol, to swim in pools with their undergarments on.” Adrian’s move prompted outrage in Vaughn’s hometown of Quincy, with the prosecutor saying that her “heart is bleeding for the victim.”


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