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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
Judge Frank McCartney, Pittsfield resident and chief judge of Illinois’ Eighth Judicial Circuit, reassigned Adams County Judge Robert Adrian away from the Adams County criminal court docket last week.
The move to reassign Adrian came in the wake of Adrian’s controversial decision to overturn a guilty sexual assault conviction in a bench trial over which he had presided.
In October, Adrian found 18-year-old Drew Clinton guilty of sexual assault that had taken place at a house party. The minimum sentence for the conviction is four years in the Department of Corrections, however Adrian deemed the 148 nights that Clinton had already served in jail as adequate, and overturned the conviction.
Adrian went on to pass blame for the incident on to the parents who owned the house where the party took place.
In addition, Adrian recently kicked Adams County Prosecutor Josh Jones out of court, because Jones had liked a Facebook post critical of Adrian. Adrian said he could not be impartial toward Jones and ordered him to leave the courtroom.
McCartney indicated that the move to take Adrian off the criminal docket was an effort to ensure that Adams County courts can operate effectively.
“We need to make sure the court is moving smoothly in Adams County,” McCartney said.
Adrian, according to McCartney, will no longer preside over felony trials, emergency orders of protection or family conflicts.
“He was one of the main felony docket judges in Adams County,” McCartney said. “He’s been reassigned out of those matters.”
McCartney’s reassignment means that Adrian will preside solely over civil court issues.
“He’ll deal with probate, small claims and other civil matters,” McCartney said.
McCartney indicated that Adrian has previously presided over cases in Pike County.
“Previously, Judge Adrian has been assigned jury dockets in Pike County and throughout the Circuit which is common practice for all judges in the 8th Circuit,” McCartney said.