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Illinois Officials Consider Required Training on Sexual Assault Cases

Illinois officials are questioning whether the state’s roughly 1,000 judges should be required to undergo the same training to better respond to rape survivors that illinois police officers have participated in 2018, Jonathan Bullington reports for the Chicago Tribune.  Every two years, Illinois judges are required to earn 30 hours of continuing education credit, offered largely through attendance at biennial education conferences.

The question of judicial training comes as a seven-member Illinois Courts Commission continues to deliberate over whether a veteran judge’s handling of a sexual assault case amounted to misconduct. Judge Robert Adrian reversed his guilty decision against Drew Clinton, a then-18-year-old accused of sexually assaulting Cameron Vaughan, then 16, after a May 2021 graduation party in downstate Quincy, saying that the absence of certain bodily fluids during expert testing and inconsistent testimony from Vaughan were factors that led him to the decision. The Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board, which investigates grievances against sitting judges, accused Adrian of circumventing the state’s mandatory sentencing law when he vacated his decision, accused him of lying about his motives during sworn testimony last April as part of its investigation, and of ejecting from his courtroom a prosecutor who “liked” a social media post critical of Adrian.

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