Illinois Judge Who Reversed Rape Conviction Removed From Bench Following Misconduct Findings

Image not from story (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Contributor
Font Size:

Adams County Judge Robert Adrian was stripped of his judicial duties Friday by the Illinois Courts Commission due to alleged misconduct, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Adrian was dismissed from his position following an investigation by a judicial review panel which determined he bypassed legal procedures and behaved improperly, according to the AP.

In October 2021, Adrian presided over a case where Drew Clinton, then 18, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a graduation party in May 2021, the AP reported. In a controversial turn of events in January 2022, Adrian overturned Clinton’s conviction, according to the outlet.

Adrian reportedly justified his decision by claiming the 148 days Clinton spent in jail were sufficient, despite the mandatory four-year sentence for such a crime. This decision was contrary to the law, as acknowledged by Adrian himself during the sentencing, the AP noted.

Many critics of this development accused Adrian of flouting mandatory sentencing guidelines and imposing his personal sense of justice over the law, according to the AP. The state Judicial Inquiry Board’s subsequent complaint highlighted Adrian’s admission that despite the legal requirement for a four-year sentence, he refused to incarcerate Clinton, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Judge Previously Removed Fani Willis From 2020 Election Case For Political Bias)

Adrian’s reversal of the verdict deeply affected the victim, Cameron Vaughan. She expressed her dismay and resolved to see Adrian removed from his position. “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,” Vaughan told the Chicago Tribune. “He can’t hurt anybody else. He can’t ruin anyone else’s life.”

Adrian attributed his dismissal to what he described as a biased justice system against conservative Republicans in Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune. He also reiterated his earlier assertions of being singled out due to his identity as a “Christian conservative.”

“I’m just going to retire and enjoy my retirement,” Adrian said following his removal, according to the Chicago Tribune.