Judge Robert Adrian reassigned to civil cases

Judge Robert Adrian presides over court in this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo. Adrian was reassigned to civil matters after an administrative order was filed by Chief Judge Frank McCartney.

QUINCY — An Adams County Judge under fire for comments he made during a sexual assault case is no longer presiding over a criminal court docket.

An administrative order filed Thursday by Judge Frank McCartney, chief judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, assigned Judge Robert Adrian to small claims, legal matters and probate dockets, as well as other civil cases as assigned effective immediately.

After originally finding 18-year-old Drew S. Clinton guilty on one count of criminal sexual assault after a three-day bench trial in October, he threw out the conviction Jan. 3, when Clinton appeared for sentencing.

Clinton faced a minimum of four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He had already served 148 days in the Adams County Jail, which Adrian said was a just sentence, according to the court transcript.

After the ruling was announced in court, Adrian said he couldn’t believe adults who were at the party took their responsibilities so lightly.

“This is what’s happened when parents do not exercise their parental responsibilities, when we have people, adults, having parties for teenagers, and they allow coeds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool,” Adrian said, according to the transcript. “And, no, underwear is not the same as swimming suits. It’s just – they allow 16-year-old to bring liquor to a party. They provide liquor to underage people, and you wonder how these things happen.

“Well, that’s how these things happen. The Court is totally disgusted with that whole thing.”

The 16-year-old told the Quincy Police Department that she attended a graduation party where she drank alcohol and swam in a pool before she was taken to another house where she fell asleep.

She told police that she woke up with a pillow being pushed on her face and that she was being assaulted by Clinton. She said she told him to stop but he didn’t until she told him a second time and pushed him off her.

The police report said she went into a bedroom in the house where she told a friend what happened. She got a ride back to her home with two friends where they slept in her parents’ camper before they went into the house in the morning and told her father, who called the police.

Adrian’s order overturning the conviction and comments have been condemned by the teenage girl and her family, as well as Quanada and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

On Wednesday, Adrian kicked Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state’s attorney’s office, out of his courtroom after Jones liked a Facebook post from Quanada that Adrian said attacked him.

Adrian’s criminal court docket was assigned to Judge Scott Larson until further notice. Larson also was assigned to hear emergency orders of protection on Tuesdays.

McCartney also ordered several cases Adrian was presiding over be transferred to different judges in the circuit. If a case moves to jury trial, McCartney ordered that all judges other than Adrian are assigned to hear the case as it appears on the jury calendar.

Jones is one of the attorneys prosecuting these cases.

Also, as part of the docket shuffle, Judge Tad Brenner was assigned to Judge Holly Henze’s conflict family docket until further order.