Posted by on January 13, 2022 3:08 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

‘Chilling message’: Critics slam Illinois judge’s reversal of sexual assault conviction

Judge Robert Adrian presides over court on Aug. 26, 2020, in Adams County, Ill. Adrian, who found an 18-year-old man guilty of sexual assaulting a 16-year-old girl, has come under fire after he later threw out the conviction this month, saying the 148 days the man spent in jail was punishment enough. (Jake Shane/Quincy Herald-Whig via AP) Katelyn Metzger/AP

‘Chilling message’: Critics slam Illinois judge’s reversal of sexual assault conviction

Abigail Adcox January 13, 03:06 PMJanuary 13, 03:06 PM

Sexual assault organizations and representatives for the accuser are blasting an Illinois judge’s decision to reverse a teenager’s sexual assault conviction after he spent just 148 days of his four-year sentence in jail.

Critics lined up to condemn the ruling, with Illinois-based Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse issuing a swift statement saying it sends a “chilling message” to victims that “their behavior — not the rapists’ — will be judged.”

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“In reversing his own verdict, Adrian blamed everyone except Clinton: the parents of the house where the party took place, the girl for drinking and swimming in her underwear, and the parents for not exercising parental control,” the group’s Board of Directors told the Washington Examiner in an email on Thursday.


The alleged victim has expressed regret for bringing the case forward in light of the judge’s decision, with her father saying, “She wishes she wouldn’t have even said anything,” Jezebel reported. Her mother, Rachael Vaughan, also told the New York Post that the ruling “opened up all the wounds again.”

“To say we’re completely shocked and stunned is an understatement,” Vaughn said on Thursday.

Anita Rodriguez, Adams County assistant state attorney, said that she had never seen a ruling like this in her 40-year career.

Robert Adrian, an Adam’s County judge, ruled at a Jan. 6 court date the 148 days the defendant, Drew Clinton, served while awaiting sentencing for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl was “plenty of punishment.”

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

In October, Adrian found the defendant, Drew Clinton, guilty on one count of sexual assault, which carried a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison. But when Clinton appeared in court again this month, the judge threw out the conviction.

“Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days,” Adrian said. “For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment. That would be a just sentence.”


Clinton was arrested after a graduation party in May of last year. The unnamed girl told police she attended the party, drank alcohol, and swam in a pool in her underwear before she passed out and later woke up to a pillow pushed on her face and Clinton sexually assaulting her.

Clinton’s attorney, Drew Schnack, told reporters after the sentence it was the “correct” verdict because the prosecution did not prove its case.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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