Judge Rosemarie Aquilina shot down convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar’s motion for her to disqualify herself from his state appeal hearings in Michigan’s Ingham County Circuit Court on Friday.
“I don’t think I’ve been heavy-handed to either side,” Aquilina said, reported Matt Mencarini of the Lansing State Journal.
Nassar’s court-appointed attorneys will request the court’s chief judge to review Aquilina’s decision, according to Kaitlyn Kelley of the State News.
Nassar’s court-appointed attorneys argued that Aquilina failed to be an “unbiased and impartial judge” after she told Nassar she was signing his “death warrant” at his January sentencing.
Ultimately, it was up to the judge herself to decide Friday whether it was right for her to continue presiding over Nassar’s state appeals. Nassar, who was not at the hearing and did not appear to be present via video cam, can appeal Aquilina’s decision.
Nassar blames Aquilina’s comments during the January sentencing for the attack he experienced hours after entering the common area of a federal prison in Arizona, the Lansing State Journal reported.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office backed up Aquilina in a response to the motion for the judge to disqualify herself.
“As the conscience of our community, and after listening to the statements of over 150 victims of Defendant Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina voiced the community’s moral outrage,” the attorney general’s office said last week.
Twitter users reacted to the news that Aquilina will not disqualify herself from hearing Nassar’s appeal.
Judge Denies Larry Nassar’s Appeal For New Sentence: The former doctor was assaulted in prison "because he's a convicted child molester," a prosecutor said. https://t.co/FJG3GqM4pH pic.twitter.com/yCAjgjGWyY
— Doyle Industries (@DoyleGlobal) August 3, 2018
The idea that Nassar’s sentence was unjust or unfair given the harm done, the extreme violation of trust, his prior conviction, the number of victims, his danger to the community and his clear lack of insight into his own conduct is frankly laughable. https://t.co/l8wiMOvUsQ
— john manly (@johnmanly) August 3, 2018
Aquilina handed down a 40-year minimum state prison sentence for Nassar on sexual assault charges.
He would serve the state sentence if he survives his 60-year federal prison sentence for child pornography, the Lansing State Journal reported.
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