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Hot mic on internet livestream catches Illinois judge ridiculing attorney after hearing

Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

“It was entertaining for me!” Raines said.

In response to Raines’ comments about waking up next to Bonjean, Bucaro said, “There would be a number of things wrong with my life if I was waking up next to her.”

Bucaro later noted the youthful appearance of one of Bonjean’s colleagues, saying he looked like a “13-year-old boy.”

“That’s her man-child,” Raines said.

After some unrelated chatting, Raines apparently noticed that the conversation was still being broadcast in real time.

“Oh, wait,” he said. “Meeting is streaming live on YouTube? What’s up with this?”

After that, the video cuts off.

A spokeswoman for the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in a statement that Foxx had spoken directly to both prosecutors who participated in the conversation, and “as a personnel matter, this will be addressed appropriately.”

Their behavior “is unacceptable and runs counter to the values of this administration. Their actions reflect poorly on the work of our office and the entire criminal justice system,” the statement reads.

 

Bonjean confirmed that both assistant state’s attorneys as well as Foxx herself have reached out to apologize, and she accepted their apologies.

It would be “naive” to think that conversations like the ones Raines participated in don’t happen routinely among certain Cook County judges, Bonjean told the Chicago Tribune, though she said she is hopeful that culture is “working its way out” as new judges take the bench.

“There are plenty of judges in that building who still think it’s appropriate to engage in chat and banter after the close of a court case and some of it can be very inappropriate,” she said.

And while Bonjean said she would have hoped that the attorneys who laughed along with Raines instead acted more appropriately, she understood that there was a power dynamic at play there.

“There was a judge who is presiding over their cases, and what does it mean if you don’t join in the fun? And how does that resonate with the judge and are there consequences for that?” she asked. “I’m cognizant of the pressure.”

Bonjean is a high-profile New York-based attorney who has made her name, in part, doing work to overturn alleged wrongful convictions. She also represented actor Bill Cosby in a successful appeal that overturned his conviction for a sex-crimes case. Recently, she signed on to represent R&B singer R. Kelly, who was convicted last year on federal racketeering and sex abuse charges.

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