QUINCIY, Illinois – A judge in western Illinois has found an 18-year-old man guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl and was shot after he later overturned the conviction, saying the man’s 148 days in prison was a sufficient sentence.
The attorney general in the case said her heart bleeds for the victim, and an organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault said Adams County Judge Robert Adrian’s ruling sends a “chilling message to other rape victims that their behavior, not their behavior, is not the (Quincy) Herald-Wig reported that rapists He will judge them.”
On Wednesday, Adrian, apparently angry at the criticism, told another prosecutor who appeared before him in an unrelated case to leave the courtroom because the prosecutor “liked” a Facebook comment critical of the judge.
“I can’t be fair to you,” the Herald Wig reported. “Get out.”
The uproar stems from a case that began with the arrest of Drew Clinton after a graduation ceremony on May 30.
During the trial, the judge heard evidence that the girl told the police that she had attended the party, where she drank alcohol and swam in the pool in her underwear before eventually losing consciousness. She said she woke up with a pillow pushed across her face and sexually assaulted Clinton.
According to the police report, the teen managed to get Clinton away from her and then told a friend what had happened. She later told her father, who called the police.
In October, Adrian Clinton was found guilty of felony sexual assault, but during his sentencing hearing on January 3, he said he would not impose the mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison.
According to the minutes of the hearing published online by local media, Adrian said, “Mr. Clinton spent nearly five months in the county jail, 148 days.” “For what happened in this case, that’s a great punishment. That would be a fair sentence.”
“There is no way for what happened in this case for this young man to go to the correctional department. I will not do that,” the judge explained.
But the judge said that if he decided the sentencing law he was obligated to follow was unconstitutional, his decision would be overturned and Clinton would be sentenced to prison. In order to avoid an appeal he believes will be successful, Adrian said what he can do is determine that the plaintiffs failed to “prove their case” and dismiss the sexual assault charge.
The Herald Wig also reported that Adrian said he couldn’t believe the adults at the party took their responsibilities so lightly.
“This is what happened when fathers don’t exercise their parental responsibilities, when we have people, adults, we throw teen parties, and they let husbands and wives swim in their underwear in their pool,” the judge said. “No, lingerie isn’t like a swimsuit. It’s just – they let a 16-year-old bring liquor to a party. They serve liquor to the palace, and you wonder how these things happen.”
“Well, that’s how these things happen. The court is completely disgusted with this whole thing.”
The prosecutor in the case, Anita Rodriguez, said that in her 40-year career she had seen nothing like Adrian’s sentence, and she was concerned about the impact of the sentence on the victim. The trial “did a lot to her recovery process, but now she’s back to where we were.”
The Quincy Area Network to Combat Domestic Violence said the ruling sends a dangerous message.
“The ruling reinforces the fact that standards for women have always been impossibly high while they are impossibly low for men,” the group said in a statement.
But Clinton’s attorney, Drew Schnack, said the final verdict was the correct one because the prosecution did not prove its case and the evidence was not strong enough to warrant a conviction.