A hearing is taking place Friday morning to determine whether the judge who sentenced convicted sex offender Larry Nassar to up to 175 years in prison should recuse herself from the case as Nassar appeals his punishment. Nassar was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls while he worked as a doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University over the course of decades. Watch the hearing live in the player above, courtesy of WDTN.
Nassar, who claims he has already been attacked in prison while he serves a sentence for a separate federal child porn conviction, asserts that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was biased against him. He claims this is evidenced by harsh words she had for him at his sentencing in Ingham County, Michigan. While that case involved charges based on allegations from seven victims who Nassar sexually assaulted during medical treatments, Aquilina allowed more than a hundred women and girls to provide victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing. Among them were several Olympic gymnasts, such as gold medal winner Aly Raisman, who called out various institutions who she claimed enabled Nassar to continue his abuse for so long.
Judge Aquilina also delivered a blistering statement of her own to Nassar when she announced her sentence, telling Nassar, “I just signed your death warrant.”
Prosecutors defended Aquilina’s remarks, saying that she had a right to speak at the hearing, and that her words were justified due to the nature of Nassar’s crimes, to which he pleaded guilty.
Aquilina admitted earlier in the hearing that her comments may have been “inartful” and came from frustration, but were not biased, and there were no errors.
Nassar was sentenced to up to 125 years in prison in a separate case in Eaton County, Michigan, where he pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual assault.