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Judge’s decision and words in rape case shock US

A US judge is under fire after ruling a young man accused of raping a 16-year-old girl ‘not guilty’.

Last October, Judge Robert Adrian found a young boy guilty of rape. But last week, in an unexpected turn of events, he finally chose to clear her. This case is causing anger in the United States today. Drew Clinton, 18, was accused of putting a pillow over a 16-year-old girl’s face in order to rape her at a party last May. “I woke up at my friend’s house with a pillow over me so I couldn’t be heard by others while Drew Clinton was inside me. I asked him several times to stop and he did not,” said Cameron Vaughan on Tuesday, quoted by the WGEM channel. “I finally managed to get away from the sofa after pushing him and he then started playing video games, as if nothing had happened”.

According to a transcript of the hearing that took place last week, Judge Adrian chose to ultimately find the defendant “not guilty” explaining that he had no criminal record and that he had already endured “a punishment strong enough” by spending 148 days in county jail. “According to the law, the Court is supposed to send this young man to the department of correction. But this Court will not do that. It is not fair. There is no reason what happened in this case should send this teenager to the department of correction. I’m not going to do that,” he said. The “Daily Beast” recalls that Illinois requires a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison for a conviction for sexual assault. But the judge considered that the five months spent in detention represented a “just sentence”. Determined to lighten the sentence he should have served, the judge therefore changed his verdict, indicating that the prosecutors had “failed to prove their case”.

“That’s how these things happen”

According to Judge Adrian, it is above all the adults who are responsible for this aggression. He explained that the parents had given up on their role and that the assaults happen when you “have parties for teenagers in which girls are allowed to swim in their underwear in a pool”. A reference to the course of the evening during which the young girl drank alcohol and then swam in the pool before falling asleep on the sofa. “No, underwear is not bathing suits. Parents allowed 16-year-olds to bring alcohol to a party. They gave alcohol to minors, and you wonder why this stuff happens. Well, that’s how these things happen. The court is deeply disgusted by all this, ”launched the judge again.

In addition, the judge continued to cause controversy on Wednesday when he forced a prosecutor out of court without giving an explanation. The “Muddy River News” reports that the hearing that day was unrelated to the rape case but that the prosecutor apparently “liked” a Facebook post supporting victims of abuse and of violence. “I’m not on social media but my wife is. She saw the like you gave to people who attacked me. So I can’t be fair with you today. Get out,” he said.

“Now she almost wishes she hadn’t said anything at all”

All these controversies have obviously provoked strong reactions. Cameron Vaughan’s father told the ‘Herald-Whig’ that his daughter felt like she was ‘talking for nothing’. “Now she almost wishes she had said nothing at all,” he lamented. On Tuesday, the Quincy Area Network Against Domestic Abuse posted a statement on Facebook saying the judge was “obviously more sorry for Clinton than for the victim.” “He blamed everyone but Clinton,” Adrian’s verdict and comments send a chilling message to other rape victims that their behavior, not that of the rapists, will be judged. It’s about shaming the victims and setting the rapists free. This judgment reinforces the fact that the standards for women have always been incredibly high while they are incredibly low for men”.

A petition which has already collected more than 8000 signatures has been launched on Change.org. “The perpetrator of this sexual assault, Drew S. Clinton, was 18 at the time. He was arrested and it was confirmed that he had indeed sexually penetrated the victim. He was charged with three counts of felony sexual assault, to which he pleaded not guilty, his defense indicating that he believed the meeting was consensual. “Following a trial in court on October 15, 2021, Drew S. Clinton was found guilty of one count of felony sexual assault for digitally penetrating the victim. He was found not guilty on the other two counts. The page then denounces the change in the judge’s decision and recalls that he “does not have the authority to change the law just because he wants to. His job is to defend and enforce the law. “There is no doubt that the victim was 16 at the time and this information alone indicates that she was legally incapable of giving consent under any circumstances. In addition to that, a person under the influence of alcohol is not capable of consenting”. “For the reprehensible precedent Judge Adrian has set by failing to uphold the law, we ask that you suspend and/or remove him from his position on the Court of the Eighth Circuit of Illinois,” the petition demands.

This story brings to mind another infamous case, a Stanford University rape of a young girl also under the influence of alcohol in 2016. Brock Turner, considered a model student, star of his swimming team, had only been sentenced to six months in prison when he risked 14 years. Jurors in a Santa Clara, Calif., court found the young man guilty of assault with intent to rape an intoxicated or unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person. He had nevertheless been released for good behavior after only three months of imprisonment, causing a wave of international indignation. At the time, Chanel Miller, the victim had expressed himself only by a letter read during the trial, and which, taken up by Buzzfeed, had affected the whole world in a few hours to the point that the magazine “Glamour” had decided to nominate the student as their “Woman of the Year”. In 2018, judge Aaron Persky, in charge of the case, was removed from office by a referendum vote in California. A first since 1932.

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