Judge Disciplined for Overturning Conviction in Assault Case

(Daily360.com) – A sexual assault survivor is speaking out about the roller coaster of emotions she’s been on while trying to find justice through the court system. Cammy Vaughan, 18, was assaulted at a high school party when she was 16, by then 18-year-old Drew Clinton. A jury found Clinton guilty of rape and he was set to be sentenced by Quincy, Illinois judge Robert Adrian in January of this year.

Vaughan said she was in court with her victim-impact statement in hand to find some level of closure as her assailant was to be sentenced to prison. However, to her shock and that of most everyone else in the courtroom, Judge Adrian overturned Clinton’s conviction. Adrian seemed to then disparage Vaughan when he said that “coeds and female people” swimming in their underwear with underage drinking is why “these things happen.”

Vaughan said she was overcome with emotion while listening to Adrian, she recalls being stunned because “the evidence was there” and she believed Clinton deserved jail time. She said it was a slap in the face to hear the judge decree that Clinton did not deserve to go to prison, that the 148 days he’d already served was sufficient, and in that her opinion Adrian painted her as the cause of the assault. Vaughan recalled having to get up and leave the courtroom due to her overwhelming emotions.

Adrian’s decision caused a media firestorm and the story went viral on social media. Not only was his decision ridiculed but the Illinois Courts Commission removed Arian from his seat on the bench. They say he circumvented the law and needed to be removed for cause.

The commission stated that Clinton’s conviction required a mandatory prison sentence and Adrian had no authority to rule otherwise. Adrian called his removal unfair and “unconstitutional” and despite legal professionals testifying on his behalf before the commission, the elected judge will not be returning to the bench. Vaughan said she was surprised Adrian’s removal came so quickly but is thrilled that he has been taken off the bench.

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