Cook County judge to receive sensitivity training following comments he made to courtroom personnel

A Cook County judge will have to receive sensitivity training and gender bias counseling following comments he made to courtroom personnel on Jan. 11.

Judge William B. Raines made comments while on the bench in his courtroom to an assistant public offender and assistant state's attorneys, and the comments were captured on a courtroom broadcast.

"Can you imagine waking up next to her every day? Oh, my God!" Raines said of attorney Jennifer Bonjean, according to a transcript of the conversation the defense attorney included in a motion to preserve video of the conversation.

"I couldn’t have a visual on that if you paid me. So, there you have it," Raines allegedly added.

The judge and prosecutors also made inappropriate comments about Bonjean’s assistant, according to the motion.

Judge Raines appeared in front of the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County on Tuesday and expressed contrition.

Raines apparently didn’t know the conversation was being recorded and streamed live on YouTube, according to the transcript.

"Ohh, wait … Media streaming live on YouTube? What’s up with this?," the judge allegedly said before the stream was ended.


Bonjean is a New York-based attorney who has represented a host of high-profile clients, including actor Bill Cosby, whose sexual assault conviction she was able to have overturned last year.

She had appeared before Raines on behalf of her client, Roosevelt Myles, who is seeking to have his 1996 murder conviction thrown out. She had left the call before the comments were made, and was later alerted to them by a "good Samaritan" who overheard the exchange.

Bonjean’s paralegal, who had earlier opened a YouTube livestream of the courtroom’s proceedings, was able to go back in the stream and make a transcript of the off-the-record conversation, Bonjean said.

Judge Sophia H. Hall, presiding judge of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Resource Section, will monitor and mentor Judge Raines and report to the Executive Committee within 90 days on the status of the training and counseling.

Judge Raines has been assigned to restricted duties.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.