Judge Rosemarie Aqualina won't recuse herself from Nassar appeal

(WXYZ) - Judge Rosemarie Aqualina will not recuse herself from an appeal by Larry Nassar's attorneys after they attempted to disqualify her from the case.

Nassar's lawyers claim that Aqualina decided to impose the maximum sentence before the sentencing hearing started, but during the court hearing on Friday, Aqualina said she listened to survivors and then did the math.

"Instead of a proceeding to assist the judge in reaching a fair and just sentencing decision, the judge used the nationally-televised proceeding as an opportunity to advance her own agenda, including to advocate for policy initiatives within the state as well as the federal legislatures, to push for broader cultural change regarding gender equity and sexual discrimination issues, and, seemingly as a type of group therapy for the victims," the appeal reads.

The attorneys now plan to file an appeal to the chief judge in Ingham County.

During his sentencing, which lasted seven days, more than 150 women and girls gave victim impact statements about being abused by Nassar. 

"It is my honor and privilege to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable," Aquilina said in the sentencing.

After, Nassar told the courtroom that there were "no words" to describe how sorry he is for what happened.

"I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days," he added. 

Moments before Nassar was sentenced, Aqualina also read part of a letter he sent to the court, where Nassar said he was a "good doctor" because his treatments worked, blaming the media for making victims think what he did was wrong.

“I was a good doctor because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised and came back over and over and referred family and friends to see me," the letter read. "The media convinced them (his victims) that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," it continued.

In the appeal filing by his attorneys, Nassar claims that he was abused in prison and also mentions the time when he was charged at by one of the victims' father in court.

"Dr. Nassar reports, that in late May he was physically attacked in federal prison within a few hours of being placed in general population," the court filing reads. 

Nassar is currently serving a federal sentence in Tucson, Ariz. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison in December 2017 for federal child porn charges. On top of the Ingham County and federal sentence, Nassar was also sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison for sexually assaulting girls at Twistars gymnastics club.

Read the entire appeal below.

Nassar files appeal to retry case in Ingham Co. by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

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