Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Larry Nassar to between 40 to 175 years in prison in a Michigan courtroom on Wednesday — and her scathing remarks pre-sentencing hardly held back her contempt for the disgraced former doctor.
Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County, Michigan, and has admitted to sexually assaulting and abusing young girls under the guise of providing medical treatment.
In a week-long remarkable hearing, Aquilina allowed more than 150 of Nassar's victims to give victim impact statements to him in court.
Her words for the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics sports medicine doctor were harsh, including the already infamous line of "I just signed your death warrant."
"You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again," she said to Nassar.
"I wouldn't send my dogs to you, sir," Aquilina also said upon the fact that Nassar still thinks of himself as a doctor. "I also want to be the voice on behalf of these survivors...There has to be a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was silence."
The Michigan judge read aloud from a letter Nassar had written her last week before his publishing, in which she says it's obvious Nassar was only serving himself.
"'What I did in the state cases was medical, not sexual, but because of the [federal porn conviction] I lost all credibility,' " read Aquilina from the letter.
" '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,' " Aquilina read aloud. "The media convinced them that it was wrong and bad."
The crowd gasped as Aquilina then read from the letter, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Judge Aquilina then took the letter and tossed it towards the defendant, washing her hands of it for good.
"As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you," Aquilina said before issuing her sentencing. "Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."
Those surprised by Aquilina's words for Nassar were most likely not familiar with her reputation, which The New York Times says includes "blunt talk." The Guardian called her a style icon "working hard to right wrongs." And a 2014 profile on Aquilina from the Washtenaw County Legal News calls her an "outspoken, self-sufficient multi-tasker."
Twitter mostly supported Aquilina's tone with the convicted predator.
She is EVERYTHING.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina tosses Larry Nassar's letter after reading it aloud, as she sentences him to 40-175 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/Annj9csGbV— Tony Morrison (@THETonyMorrison) January 24, 2018
The judge threw Larry Nassar’s bullshitted 6 page letter aside like it was trash. I’m so glad she presided over this case pic.twitter.com/GAvuW2CIs7— antonio (@antoniodelotero) January 24, 2018
This GIF of Judge Aquilina throwing away the letter Larry Nassar wrote the court about how hard it is for him to listen to victim testimonies PRETTY MUCH SAYS IT ALL. pic.twitter.com/5HB9WMaPqU— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) January 24, 2018
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina tossing Larry Nassar's pathetic letter aside is everything.pic.twitter.com/MWAOPs16hf— E (@esheikh_) January 24, 2018
Judge #RosemaryAquilina tells the media she won't be doing interviews re Larry Nassar sentencing. "It's just not my story." Sorry to gush, and it's clear she doesn't want the praise, but this woman is amazing. Nuff respect ma'am.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 24, 2018
“Perhaps you have it figured out by now, but little girls don’t stay little girls forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.” — Judge Aquilina, handing Larry Nassar his 175 year sentence.
Let that shake every predator to their cores.— i. (@olivjuic) January 24, 2018
Larry Nassar was forced to listen to the statements of all 168 girls and women he sexually assaulted read out in court, many of them in person. It wasn't required, but Judge Rosemarie Aquilino made it happen.
We need more women in positions of power. Everywhere.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 24, 2018
If men in power ever end up being 1/10th as awesome as Judge Aquilina—we’ll solve most of life’s problems.
Judge Aquilina throws away the letter Rapist Larry Nassar wrote about how hard it is for him to listen to victim testimonies.pic.twitter.com/oqkr3dJ2Ay— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) January 24, 2018
Some wrote that her tone was "legally problematic."
As someone who wants Nassar to burn in Hell, the judge was awesome. Legally, though, her behavior seems problematic. https://t.co/pCcvAJNKUH— J.R. Holmsted (@JHolmsted) January 24, 2018
Others defended her tone.
I see a lot of amateur lawyers are out here objecting to the Nassar judge’s harsh comments during sentencing. A Twitter law degree doesn’t come with much real-world experience, I guess.— David von Ebers (@Dave_von_Ebers) January 24, 2018
Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years, in addition to the 60 years in federal prison he is already charged with serving on child pornography charges.
As victim after victim shared horrific tales of assault and abuse, Aquilina acted as both judge and therapist, offering empathy, comfort and advice to each individual.0comments
"I wish my robe came with a magic wand so I can wave it over you and heal you," she said to one victim. "But that's fairy tales."
Aquilina said Nassar will "be in darkness the rest of his life."