MACOMB, IL – Victim Services counselors and advocates are horrified and saddened by the recent reversal of a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case by an Adams County judge where the perpetrator was initially found guilty of one count of criminal sexual assault of a teenage girl while she was unconscious at a graduation party.
According to the survivor, the perpetrator placed a pillow over her head during the assault.
After regaining consciousness, she told him to stop, but he continued. Eventually, she was able to push the perpetrator off and escape.
In an unusual and shocking turn, the judge reversed the decision to not guilty stating the perpetrator had already served five months in jail and that the mandated sentence of four years in prison was not justifiable for the situation. Instead, the judge blamed the parents who hosted the graduation party for providing alcohol to minors.
Victim Services wants to reassure survivors that this type of verdict reversal is unusual, and that speaking with a counselor can help survivors feel empowered on their healing journey. Sexual assault is a traumatic crime that can have lifelong mental and physical health impacts on survivors.
Victim Services provides free and confidential counseling, medical advocacy, and legal advocacy to survivors of sexual violence in Hancock, Henderson, Fulton, Knox, McDonough, Warren counties in Illinois as well as offering free counseling to friends and family members of survivors who witnessed the abuse.
If you have experienced or witnessed abuse at any point in your life, Victim Services’ free and confidential crisis hotline is available 24/7 at (309) 837-5555. For more information about Victim Services, visit https://wirpc.org/victim-services/