Adams County Judge Robert Adrian overturns Drew Clinton rape conviction of Cameron Vaughn teen girl cause he thought 148 days in jail was enough.
An Illinois judge’s decision to reverse a previous rape conviction for an 18 year old has led to wide disconcert.
Adams County Judge Robert Adrian issued the
stunning reversal last Monday after previously finding Drew Clinton of Quincy guilty of one count of criminal sexual assault during an October bench trial, the Herald-Whig reported.
The reversal appears to be have been motivated in the judge’s reconsideration of what minimum mandatory sentencing Clinton should be subjected to. Illinois state policy mandates a minimum of 4 years sentencing if found guilty.
Instead, Judge Robert Adrian bucked protocol in saying the 148 days Clinton had already spent in jail since following his October arrest was enough.
‘Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days,’ Adrian said, according to a court transcript obtained by the Herald Whig.
When a judge blames the victim for their behavior
‘For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment. That would be a just sentence.’
The judge also cited the teen being ‘young’ (never mind his 16 year old female victim) and previously not having a record.
Clinton was convicted of sexually assaulting 16-year-old girl, Cameron Vaughn, at a graduation party last May. At the time it was noted the teen girl had been inebriated.
The 18 year old had faced a mandatory minimum sentence of four years. Adrian’s decision came after Clinton’s attorneys filed two post-trial motions and the judge ruled prosecutors failed to prove their case.
In bypassing the previous guilty conviction, Adrian said adults at the party were to blame for Vaughan’s assault. He said they ‘abandoned their parental duties and suggested that sexual assault is what happens when parents hold parties for teenagers, and they allow coeds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool.’
Following Adrian’s ruling, the distraught victim went public with her story – recounting the sexual assault to reporters and detailing her emotional reaction when she learned Adrian was set free.
‘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,’ Vaughan said according to WGEM.
Judge Robert Adrian must be removed from the bench pending an investigation into his judicial conduct… He is not God his job is to rule in accordance with state guidelines which would’ve been four years for the convicted rapist of Cameron Vaughan.. Drew Clinton #drewclinton
— miranda mckingsby (@laffmytitsoff) January 13, 2022
‘Now I wish I had never said anything’
‘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,’ she said.
Vaughan said she ‘immediately’ left the courtroom and cried in the bathroom after learning Clinton’s conviction had been thrown out.
The Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse on Tuesday condemned the judge’s decision.
‘The verdict and Adrian’s comments send a chilling message to other rape victims that their behavior, not the rapists’, will be judged,’ the group said in a statement to WGEM.
‘Shame the victims, free the rapists. This judgment reinforces the fact that standards for women have always been impossibly high while they are impossibly low for men.’
Vaughan’s father described his daughter’s devastation in an interview with the Herald-Whig.
Drew Clinton raped a 16-year-old while she was passed out at a party. Today, Judge Robert Adrian overturned Drew’s conviction because the seven months he already spent in county jail was “plenty of punishment.”
This is why survivors don’t report, folks. https://t.co/shTOScrzTj
— Marta Rusek (@martarusek) January 12, 2022
Social media responds
‘It’s worse now than it was [before], because not only does she not have her justice, but now she feels like she spoke up for nothing, and you know that hurts,’ the father told WGEM.
‘Now she wishes she wouldn’t have even said anything.’
And then there were this comments on social media that made this author wonder. See what you think?
‘This adult man was committed an act that society has deemed serious enough that victims should at least get the benefit of seeing the perpetrator go to jail for at least four years. This judge took that small comfort away from this victim. If you don’t like mandatory minimums, don’t take a job that will require you to give them out. Go join the public defender’s office.’
‘He sees himself in what this kid did, and doesn’t want to consider that his own past behavior was criminal and would be viewed as criminal today.’
‘One more judge who thinks holding males accountable for rape is somehow just ‘not fair’.’