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Chicago Judge Caught On Mic Disparaging Attorney Who Once Got Bill Cosby Freed

Cook County Circuit Court Judge William B. Raines is in hot water over recorded comments he made about civil rights attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who had been credited for getting Bill Cosby released.


By Gina Tron
Judge Gavel G

A criminal court judge was caught on a hot microphone making disparaging remarks about a high-profile civil rights attorney who once helped free Bill Cosby.

The remarks came after a Tuesday virtual hearing in the case of Roosevelt Myles over which Cook County Circuit Court Judge William B. Raines presided. Attorney Jennifer Bonjean is representing Myles in an effort to overturn  his 1996 murder conviction, which has recently been featured in Investigation Discovery’s “Reasonable Doubt: It Wasn’t Me.”

Following the virtual hearing — and as the court proceeding continued to stream live on YouTube without their awareness — Raines chatted with two Cook County assistant state attorneys and an assistant public defender , the Chicago Tribune reported.

“Can you imagine waking up next to her every day? Oh my God,” Judge Raines reportedly said disparaging of Bonjean, a New York-based attorney who has represented several high profile clients.

Susie Bucaro, a prosecutor responded, “There would be a number of things wrong with my life if I was waking up next to her every day."

Raines’ response after that?

“I couldn’t have a visual on that if you paid me. So there you have it.”

Bonjean has since filed a motion to preserve the video so that she can make a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Board.

Bonjean appeared before a different judge on Thursday stating “it is our position that Judge Raines did not conduct himself in a manner that promoted public confidence. There was an incredible casual nature of these conversations that certainly suggests this is not the first time this kind of banter went on,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

She called the so-called banter “sexist and offensive.”

Raines has been taken off the case and replaced with Judge Carol Howard as a result. 

A spokesperson for the Cook County’s Chief Judge Tim Evans told the Tribune that a meeting will be held next week to discuss Raines’ comments, and another spokesperson for the state’s attorney’s office called the prosecutors’ comments in response to Raines “unacceptable.”

“Their actions reflect poorly on the work of our office and the entire criminal justice system. State’s Attorney [Kim] Foxx has spoken directly with both ASAs and as a personnel matter, this will be addressed appropriately,” they said.

Bonjean has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

“I don’t like to make the news this way,” the attorney tweeted on Thursday. “But if it brings attention to judges who have no business being on the bench, so be it.”

Bonjean has been credited for getting Cosby’s conviction overturned, Reuters reported last year. Cosby was convicted in 2018 of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in January 2004, but his conviction was overturned in June 2021 after Pennsylvania’s highest court said his due process rights had been violated.

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