Lawyers are advocates for their clients and the law has an interest in protecting individuals from discrimination and the harmful acts of wrongdoers. Generally, the judge is a neutral party that rarely takes sides, focus on the law, and sticks to his or her bench without showing emotions. But not so for Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina of the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County Michigan. She does not hold back and she tells it like it is.
There could not have been a better judge presiding over the criminal case against Larry Nassar, the once a distinguished doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University who has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual assault—although he scarred the lives of over 140 victims during his career.
Some of Judge Aquilina remarks have sometimes bordered on vindictive at times, but no one is complaining. At the very end of Tuesday’s hearing, the judge imagined aloud what she’d like to do to Nassar if not for the US Constitution’s 8th Amendment, which protects individuals from cruel and unusual punishments.
“Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment. If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls — these young women in their childhood — I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others.”
Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges in 2017. As part of his plea deal concerning his other despicable acts, he admitted to using his position to assault and molest young girls, including those on the US Olympic gymnastics teams throughout the years. Without a doubt, Nassar will spent the rest of his miserable life in prison.
Besides being judge in the case, the Honorable Aquilina doubles as a therapist, doing her best to provide any consolation and offer advice to the many Nassar victims in her courtroom.
She said to one victim, “The monster who took advantage of you is going to wither, much like the scene in the ‘Wizard of Oz’ where the water gets poured on the witch and the witch withers away. That’s what’s going to happen to him, because as you get stronger, as you overcome — because you will — he gets weaker and he will wither away. Prison is no place for a human being to live.”
Moreover, Nassar’s plea deal stipulated that his victims would be allowed to give “Victim Impact Statements” in court before his sentencing. Nassar will be forced to listen to each and everyone of these women, victims of his sexual assault and sexual harassment. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office anticipates that over 100 victims total will give statements by the time Aquilina announces Nassar’s sentence
Although it was a part of his plea deal, Nassar complained in a six-page letter to Judge Aquilina accusing the Judge of turning his criminal sentencing into a “media circus” and claiming she’s only giving so many of his accusers a chance to speak “so the media cameras will be directed at her.”
Naturally, Judge Aquilina would not have that. She responded, calling his letter “delusional” and telling him, “Spending four or five days listening to them is significantly minor considering the hours of pleasure you had at their expense and ruining their lives.” She added, “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.”
No person, man or woman, should ever have to be a victim of a monster’s sexual harassment or sexual assault.
If you believe you are the victim of sexual harassment or gender-motivated violence at your job or on your college campus, contact one of our New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC today for a free consultation. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.