Adrian removed from felony case in Adams County involving text messages to minors

Robert Adrian outside Chicago courtroom

Judge Robert Adrian — MRN FILE PHOTO

QUINCY — The Adams County State’s Attorney’s office has requested and been granted a change of judge as it pursues charges against a pre-med student from Quincy who allegedly sent text messages of a sexual nature to minors.

Both the prosecution and the defense have the right to make one request per case for a change of judge.

Giorgio Raad, 18, 619 Birdie Lane, appeared at a hearing in Adams County Circuit Court Tuesday before Judge Tad Brenner with his attorney, Drew Schnack.

Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck said the state requested the removal of Judge Robert Adrian from the case. Chief Circuit Judge Frank McCartney has assigned Brenner to the case, which is set for the January jury docket.

Keck would not get into specifics as to why the request was made.

Sources told Muddy River News that local victims’ rights advocates and the victim’s family had pushed to ask for the change. Keck, however, was adamant the decision rested solely in the state’s attorney’s office.

Adrian ruled Drew Clinton, a then-18-year-old, was guilty of sexually assaulting Cameron Vaughan, then 16, after a May 2021 graduation party in downstate Quincy. Adrian then sparked a firestorm of controversy when he reversed his October verdict and found Clinton not guilty during his sentencing on Jan. 3, 2022.

That decision made national headlines public appearances, ranging from local protests in downtown Quincy to interviews on nationally syndicated TV shows “Inside Edition” and “Dr. Phil.”

The seven-member Illinois Courts Commission continues to deliberate over whether Adrian’s handling of the case amounted to misconduct. Adrian could be removed from the bench or reprimanded.

Schnack represented Clinton in that case and now represents Raad, who faces one count of grooming, a Class 4 felony, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Between the two charges, Raad could receive anywhere from probation to up to three years in prison. If found guilty, he also would have to register as a sex offender.

Raad has no prior criminal record.

Raad allegedly used the internet on Sept. 23 to communicate and attempt to seduce, solicit or entice the child, to commit criminal sexual abuse or otherwise engage in any unlawful sexual conduct with a child or with another person claimed to be a child — in this case, a 13-year-old female victim. Raad allegedly sent pictures of his sex organs to the girl and multiple text messages of a sexual nature.

Raad is currently in home confinement. He was ordered to have no access to the internet unless it is for schoolwork and no access to social media.

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