Kwame Raoul: Judge ruling overturning his own guilty verdict in rape case ‘abuse of power’

Kwame Raoul: Judge ruling overturning his own guilty verdict in rape case ‘abuse of power’


Legal professional Normal Kwame Raoul submitted a petition on Thursday asking the Illinois Supreme Court docket to intervene in a controversial sexual assault circumstance that ended with a circuit choose voiding his first guilty verdict and freeing the defendant early.

Raoul petitioned for a writ of mandamus urging the Illinois Supreme Court docket to order Adams County Circuit Decide Robert K. Adrian to impose a lawful sentence in the sexual assault circumstance — 4 to 15 yrs in prison.

Adrian unveiled the defendant just after he served five months in a county jail.

“The required sentencing vary established by the Illinois Basic Assembly for felony legal sexual assault is four to 15 a long time in jail,” Raoul stated in a composed launch asserting his conclusion to choose the case to the Supreme Court docket. “In addition to the insensitivity to the target in this case, the judge’s selection to vacate the conviction and phone the 148 times Clinton served in county jail ‘plenty of punishment’ demonstrates an abuse of electric power.”

Adrian presided in excess of the 3-working day bench criminal sexual assault trial of Drew S. Clinton, 19, in Oct. Clinton was accused of raping a 16-yr-outdated girl at a graduation celebration in Quincy on May well 30. Adrian discovered Clinton guilty of a person depend of legal sexual assault.

But when Clinton returned to courtroom in January, Adrian decided to reverse his very own acquiring of guilt and vacate the conviction. This permitted Adrian to stay away from sentencing him to the bare minimum sentence beneath Illinois legislation. He then purchased Clinton to be unveiled from custody.

Clinton’s target was in courtroom and organized to read through a victim affect assertion when Adrian manufactured his choice to vacate the conviction and absolutely free Clinton.

A transcript showed that Adrian criticized the mother and father exactly where the get together was held.

“This is what’s took place when mother and father do not training their parental tasks, when we have people, grown ups, owning events for adolescents and they allow coeds and woman people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool,” he claimed, according to a transcript.

Carrie Ward, the government director for the Illinois Coalition In opposition to Sexual Assault, explained Adrian’s statements ended up victim-blaming and additional traumatized the target.

“This was a turn that no one particular could have predicted,” Ward claimed. “And it underscores the troubles survivors of sexual assault confront.”

Clinton, who formerly lived in Quincy, turned 18 two months ahead of the crime happened. He had no preceding criminal document. He at the moment resides in Michigan.

In the course of the hearing, Adrian reported, “Mr. Clinton has served just about five months in the county jail, 148 times. For what happened in this case, that is a great deal of punishment. That would be a just sentence,” in accordance to a court transcript.

“This is the initially time I have observed a scenario like this in the 20 years I have been accomplishing this,” mentioned Daniel S. McConkie Jr., who teaches legal legislation at Northern Illinois College College of Legislation.

McConkie said Adrian averted appellate review by reversing the conviction, as an alternative of imposing a sentence that was less than the necessary minimum.

Adrian stated throughout the hearing that he knew that his selection would be overturned if he did that.

That leaves the scenario to the Supreme Court to force Adrian to impose the sentence approved by Illinois law.

“It’s an amazing treatment to an remarkable predicament,” McConkie stated of Raoul’s motion to the Supreme Courtroom.

The Supreme Court docket can buy public officials, including judges, to adhere to the legislation set into impact by the Illinois Normal Assembly.

Adrian’s handling of the case drew countrywide media interest and an outcry from local and point out advocates. The sufferer appeared on the nationally syndicated tv show “Dr. Phil” to communicate about the assault.

“We are tremendous-glad that the legal professional normal took this action to try out to get some justice for this sufferer,” Ward mentioned. “And far more than that, for the message that this sends to all sexual assault survivors.”

Adams County Main Judge Thomas McCartney reassigned Adrian from the legal docket to a civil docket last thirty day period.

But Adrian could also experience much more difficulties. A petition is circulating inquiring for his remember. On Friday, the petition experienced far more than 102,000 signatures.

Adrian was elected to the bench in 2010 with 56 percent of the vote. He gained retention, which necessitates an affirmative vote of 60 percent of the voters, in 2016 with 83 {a73b23072a465f6dd23983c09830ffe2a8245d9af5d9bd9adefc850bb6dffe13} of the vote.

Capitol Information Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan information support masking condition governing administration and dispersed to a lot more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded mostly by the Illinois Press Basis and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Ferne Dekker

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