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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, reported 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.


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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, reported the Lansing State Journal.

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.



Nassar’s lawyers argued that Aquilina should disqualify herself because she attended the ESPYS awards show and was photographed with Nassar’s victims, among other reasons, Mencarini reported.

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, reported the Lansing State Journal.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.



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