The Illinois judge who reversed the sexual assault conviction of a teenage boy last week in a move that stoked public fury has now been removed from all criminal cases and can only preside over civil complaints.
Eighth Circuit Court Judge Robert Adrian, 64, was publicly admonished this week for vacating the sexual assault conviction of Drew Clinton, 18, because he had served five months in county jail.
Last June, Drew was charged with three counts of sexual assault; two by intercourse, and one by digital penetration. His accuser is Cameron Vaughan, a 16-year-old girl who has identified herself in the wake of Judge Adrian’s ruling last week.
The pair met at a graduation party at another teenager’s house in May 2021. The sexual encounter did not happen there – it was in the basement of the home of another teenager. Drew, who lives hundreds of miles away in Michigan, was staying with that other teenager during his visit to Quincy, Illinois.
At a bench trial – where there was no jury – Judge Adrian found Clinton innocent of the first two counts. The boy admitted that he digitally penetrated the girl but said she had consented to it.
Initially, he was found guilty but at sentencing in January, Judge Adrian reversed the conviction to avoid sentencing the boy to the mandatory state minimum of four years behind bars.
Cameron, who goes by Cammy, still insists that she was raped by Drew. She says he put a pillow over her face and that she woke up to find him ‘inside’ her.
On Wednesday, after she spoke out against Judge Adrian, he was removed from criminal cases by Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Frank McCartney.
Eighth Circuit Court Judge Robert Adrian, 64, was publicly admonished this week for vacating a sexual assault conviction of Drew Clinton, 18, because he had served five months in county jail
Last June, Drew Clinton was charged with three counts of sexual assault; two by intercourse, and one by digital penetration. His accuser is Cameron Vaughan, a 16-year-old girl who has identified herself in the wake of Judge Adrian’s ruling last week, right, claims he held a pillow over her face and attacked her
Drew was charged with three counts of sexual assault – two of rape and one of digital penetration. He was found not guilty of the rape charges (which in Illinois is classes as a felony 1 sexual assault) but guilty of the third count because he admitted to touching the girl with his hands but said she had consented to it. That is the charge that the judge reversed his verdict on last week
Now, he can only preside over small claims.
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Drew’s lawyer – Drew Schnack – said the outrage against Judge Adrian was misplaced and that the public had rushed to judge the boy without knowing all of the facts of the case.
It had been mistakenly reported that the boy was convicted of rape – which he was never was.
‘The only issue was of consent. He admitted that he digitally penetrated her. The question was one of consent. Drew said she consented, he’d said that all along.
‘People are making decisions and comments about this who weren’t in court and aren’t lawyers but don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. They’re believing everything they see and read.
‘It is bulls**t. Judge Adrian has turned into a great judge. He is a law and order judge – he follows the law and he is fair and he is tough.
It is bulls**t. Judge Adrian has turned into a great judge. He is a law and order judge – he follows the law and he is fair and he is tough. The criticism he’s receiving is wrong,’
Andrew Schnack, Drew Clinton’s lawyer
‘The criticism he’s receiving is wrong,’ Andrew Schnack, the teen’s lawyer, said.
Judge Adrian hasn’t commented yet on the decision to remove him from criminal cases.
In his decision, he didn’t exonerate Drew of the physical act. He refused to comment on whether or not Cammy had consented to being touched, but instead said whatever had happened, five months in jail was a long enough punishment.
‘By law, the court is supposed to sentence this young man to the Department of Corrections. This court will not do that. That is not just.
‘Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment. That would be a just sentence. The Court can’t do that.
Cameron, who goes by Cammy, insists that she was raped. She broke her anonymity to speak out against the judge
The teenage girl waived her right to anonymity to identify herself as the victim in the case
A Change.org petition demanding for charges to be brought against the judge has now gathered more than 8,000 signatures
‘But what the Court can do, because this was a bench trial, the Court will find that the People failed to prove their case. The Court is going to reconsider its verdict on Count 3, and therefore, the case – the Defendant will be released from custody,’ he said.
Clinton’s defense attorney Drew Schnack said there was no ‘evidence’ of how drunk the victim was despite admitting she had ‘six little shooter things’, vomited and had to be tended to by adults at the party who thought she should go home. This was all before the rape
He then went on to blame the parents of the unidentified teenager who held the party where the pair met, saying they should never have allowed a group of underage teenagers to drink alcohol and swim in a pool in their underwear.
‘I cannot believe that adults that were involved in this case – parents and other adults who was involved in this case – took their responsibilities so lightly for these teenage kids I cannot believe the permissiveness and the lack of responsibility taken.
‘This is what happens when parents do not exercise their parental responsibilities. We have people, adults, having parties for teenagers and they allow coeds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool.
‘They allow 16-year-olds to bring liquor to a party . They provide liquor to underage people, and you wonder how these things happen.
‘The Court is totally disgusted with that whole thing. Mr. Clinton, you’re going to be released. Go home if you still have one,’ he said.
Cammy broke her anonymity to speak publicly about the decision.
She said: ‘Drew should be in prison if it wasn’t for that stupid judge. His decision is unexplainable. I woke up at my friend’s place with a pillow over my face so I couldn’t be heard and Drew Clinton inside of me,’ she told WGEM TV in Illinois.
‘I asked him to stop multiple times and he wouldn’t.
‘I finally got off the couch and pushed him off of me and he jumped up and just started playing video games as if nothing had happened.’