— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) January 18, 2018
All week, Larry Nassar has been in court for his sentencing hearing, where he must listen to dozens of women give victim impact statements about how he sexually abused them while he was a doctor with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Apparently, Nassar doesn’t like it, because he wrote a six-page letter complaining about having to sit there and listen to the women’s statements. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina addressed the letter when court began Thursday morning, going off on Nassar for having the nerve to complain about something that he knew was going to happen after he pleaded guilty.
Aquilina said about Nassar’s letter, “This isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. There’s no truth in here. It’s delusional.” During the proceeding, the judge read from Nassar’s handwritten letter.
“I’m very concerned about my ability to face witnesses these next four days, mentally,” it said. Nassar acknowledged that after court ended on Wednesday, he met with Community Mental Health workers.
WATCH FULL VIDEO OF JUDGE ROSEMARIE AQUILINA
“Sir, there’s a few sentences here that concern me,” Aquilina said. She then addressed complaints that Nassar made about the hearing itself.
“Now, Aquilina is having a four-day sentencing media circus,” she read.
The judge explained, “I didn’t ask any media to be here.”
She continued reading Nassar’s complaints about having so many victims speak at the hearing, and implied that Aquilina was creating a scene to garner attention for herself.
“She wants me to sit in the witness box next to her for all four days so the media cameras will be directed toward her,” the Nassar letter said.
“I don’t need any cameras,” Aquilina declared. “I don’t have a dog in this fight sir. I didn’t orchestrate this, you did, by your actions and your plea of guilty.”
Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and didn’t see why more than 100 women should get to speak at the hearing.
Judge Aquilina reminded Nassar that he and his counsel were informed about the victim impact statements prior to sentencing, and that page three of Nassar’s plea agreement addresses victim impact statements, saying, “included shall be the 125 victims who have reported their assaults.” Aquilina further pointed out that the agreement said “included” but not “limited to.”
After the judge concluded, Nassar explained that his letter was the result of stress, and meant to be “cathartic.” He said it was a call for mental help.
“This letter doesn’t say specifically, I’m having a breakdown,” the judge noted, but acknowledged that Nassar has access to Community Mental Health staff for his needs
Statements continued after Judge Aquilina’s diatribe, with 105 statements expected in total. Sentencing is expected to take place Friday afternoon, but Judge Aquilina said it can be pushed to Monday, if need be, with so many women speaking in court.
The entire hearing is being streamed live on the Law&Crime Network.
[Image via Law&Crime screengrab]
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