If Illinois Eighth Circuit Court Judge Robert Adrian’s recent behavior has demonstrated anything, it’s that courts must mandate comprehensive training of judges on domestic and sexual violence dynamics, so they understand this simple fact — the one person responsible for the violent crime of rape is the perpetrator.
Adrian sparked worldwide outrage last week for reversing his own felony sexual assault verdict of Drew Clinton, an adult convicted of a raping a 16-year-old Quincy, Illinois, girl. Later, Adrian ordered a prosecutor from his courtroom for “Liking” our Facebook post criticizing his action, saying “I can’t be fair to you.”
The Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse (QUANADA) applauds the circuit court for removing Adrian from this case and the criminal docket. We urge the court to also demand Adrian’s resignation or remove him from office — a judge who doesn’t trust his own decisions should not be allowed to sit in judgement.
We also implore the court to question his debatable reversal and restore the conviction rendered through a fair, three-day bench trial. Adrian vigorously disagreed with the four-year mandatory sentence, saying “five months in jail is plenty of punishment.” A convicted rapist should not go free because a judge disagrees with the law.
Adrian publicly blamed and shamed everyone but the perpetrator — the victim for drinking alcohol and swimming in underwear, the parents for allowing the party. We must end the chilling message sent to so many rape victims and their perpetrators — shame the victims, free the rapists — so that survivors can finally trust the judicial system to provide the fair treatment they deserve.
Megan Duesterhaus, PhD
Executive Director of Quanada