Today I want to touch on a topic that I have not yet written about on Between the Lens.
And unfortunately, a sad series of events has tugged on my heart enough to compel me to write this to all of you.
In May of 2021, a young woman attended a graduation party, where she drank alcohol and swam in a pool in her underwear before passing out. She woke to a pillow being pushed in her face while being sexually assaulted. You can read more of the details here.
This case is from my hometown, so this hits very close to home.
On January 3rd, Judge Robert Adrian reversed his previous guilty verdict and gave the following statements in open court:
“Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment.”
Let us note that the defendant in this case openly admitted to intercourse, claiming that he had consent. At the time of the incident, he was 18 and his victim was 16. By Illinois law, the legal age of consent is 17. So what I don’t understand is how this is statutory rape at minimum!
Judge Adrian went on,
“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. There is no way for what happened in this case that this teenager should go to the Department of Corrections. I will not do that.”
“The court is going to reconsider its verdict, is going to find the Defendant not guilty on Count 3. And, therefore, the case — the Defendant will be released from custody.”
I also wanted to add that this young woman immediately went to her friends and told them what had happened, and the next morning they all went and reported it to her father who then called the police. This just backs up the fact that she was telling the truth. What young teenager would want to go through that just for attention?
But all of this is beside the fact.
People will bring up the fact that she was underage drinking.
They will bring up that she was swimming in a pool in her underwear.
But that does not mean that she ever gave consent.
And if someone is drunk, they cannot give consent.
And if you don’t have consent, it is rape.
So this case is infuriating, disgusting, and an abuse of power. It’s gaining national coverage for good reason. People are outraged.
As they should be.
Verdicts like this silence survivors of sexual assault. This is detrimental in giving victims their voice and power over their abusers.
I want to encourage all people, men and women, to have the courage to speak your truth. And even if you never gain that courage, you still matter and you need no validation. Do what is best for you and your healing. My heart goes out to all that have ever been in this situation. May you get the closure you need. We are loud in instances like this because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
The judge may not have held him accountable, but the public is. And I love to see it.
I’m curious as to what you all think. Drop a comment & let’s discuss.
Read more about this story here:
Read more about Judge Robert Adrian:
Sign the petition to file charges against Judge Adrian for abuse of judicial discretion here: