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Nassar’s Lawyers To Ask Judge To Disqualify Herself Today

Aug 3, 2018

Judge Gavel
Credit Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

After a marathon sentencing hearing, Larry Nassar wants a do-over.  Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.  He wants to be resentenced; but first, he wants a new judge.


More than 100 victims of Nassar gave impact statements during his seven-day sentencing hearing in January.  During that time, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina made supportive statements to each victim that spoke.  When it came time to sentence Nassar, Aquilina told him she was sorry she couldn’t impose cruel and unusual punishment on Nassar.

“I want you to know, as much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you,” Aquilina said at the hearing.

A motion filed by Nassar’s attorneys says Aquilina was biased during sentencing and that Nassar didn’t receive a fair hearing.  They say Aquilina shouldn’t decide Nassar’s appeal.

The Attorney General’s office says Aquilina was not personally biased against Nassar.  They say to the extent Aquilina was harsh, it was permissible to express the so-called “grievance of society.”

Aquilina will hear the arguments about whether she should remove herself from the case on Friday.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org