Illinois Judge Ousted for Reversing Rape Conviction in Graduation Party Assault Case

An Illinois judge was removed from the bench after overturning a teenager's sexual assault conviction for assaulting a sleeping 16-year-old.

An Illinois judge was removed from the bench after overturning a teenager’s sexual assault conviction for assaulting a sleeping 16-year-old.

Adams County Judge Robert Adrian was removed from the bench by the Illinois Courts Commission on Friday after a three-day hearing in Chicago in response to a complaint against him.

Adrian had determined that Drew Clinton of Taylor, Michigan, was responsible for sexually assaulting Cameron Vaughan during a graduation party in May 2021.

During the sentencing hearing, months following his conviction, Adrian mentioned that the boy had already spent 148 days behind bars, which he considered to be sufficient punishment.

Adrian expressed his ability to overturn the verdict and release the boy, although he couldn’t sentence him to time served.  

The ruling from the courts commission stated that Adrian had committed several acts of misconduct and had misused his authority to satisfy his personal sense of justice, bypassing legal procedures.

In January 2022, a complaint was filed against Adrian by the state Judicial Inquiry Board following the judge’s decision to overturn Clinton’s conviction.

At 18 years old, Cameron chose to reveal her identity and shared that she had blacked out from drinking in the basement. She later woke up to discover Clinton sexually assaulting her with a pillow over her face.

Clinton stated that they engaged in consensual sex and disputed the level of intoxication claimed by the other party.

Judge Rejects Teen’s Sentencing, Deems It Unfair

An Illinois judge was removed from the bench after overturning a teenager’s sexual assault conviction for assaulting a sleeping 16-year-old.


Back then, the judge stated, “He has no previous record, none at all.” According to regulations, the court is expected to sentence this young man to the Department of Corrections… This court refuses to comply.

This is unfair. In this situation, it is unjust for the teenager to be sent to the Department of Corrections. I refuse to do that.’

Per the state’s regulations, Clinton was required to spend at least four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The commission had the option to issue a reprimand, censure, or suspension without pay, but decided to immediately remove Adrian from the bench in western Illinois’ Adams County, citing ‘ample grounds’ for their decision.

The complaint stated that Adrian had recognized he was required to enforce the mandatory four-year sentence on Clinton, but he had no intention of sending him to prison.

Adrian faced accusations of dishonesty under oath regarding his decision to reverse the conviction and of removing a prosecutor from the courtroom for liking a critical social media post about the judge.

Based on court transcripts, Adrian attributed Clinton’s overturned conviction to parents and adults hosting parties for teenagers, where they permitted young women to swim in their underwear in their pool. No, undergarments are not equivalent to swimwear.

He mentioned that 16-year-olds are allowed to bring alcohol to a party. They supply alcohol to individuals under the legal age, leaving you questioning the circumstances surrounding these incidents.

That’s just the way things unfold. The court is thoroughly appalled by the entire situation.’

Vaughan expressed her satisfaction to the Chicago Tribune after Friday’s ruling, stating that she was pleased the commission recognized the falsehoods he had been spreading.

I am overjoyed at this moment. He won’t be able to harm anyone else. He won’t be able to negatively impact anyone else’s life, Vaughan said.

Adrian expressed his belief that the decision to remove him was completely unjust. I did what was necessary. I’ve always been honest about it.’

According to Adams County court records, Clinton’s guilty verdict was overturned due to prosecutors’ failure to meet the burden of proof required to establish Clinton’s guilt.

However, in the decision made on Friday, the commission stated that it viewed Adrian’s assertion of reversing his guilty finding as a subterfuge, an attempt to justify the reversal after the fact.

Clinton cannot face another trial for the same offense due to the protection provided by the Fifth Amendment. In February 2023, a request to remove Clinton’s record was rejected.

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