Judge denies Nassar motion to disqualify sentencing judge

By Scooby Axson
August 14, 2018

A Michigan judge threw out a motion filed by the attorneys of disgraced former USA gymnastics and convicted sex abuser Larry Nassar in which he claimed the judge that oversaw his case was "admittedly not an unbiased and impartial judge."

His court-appointed appellate attorneys were seeking a new trial challenging the sentence he received earlier this year for sexual assault.

Nassar, who is also a former Michigan State doctor, was sentenced up to 175 years on Michigan state charges of sexual assault, to go along with a sentence of 40 to 125 years in prison on three counts of sexual assault. He also received a 60–year sentence on federal child-pornography charges.

More than 300 women have said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, including 156 women and girls who give victim-impact statements during the sentencing phase of his trial in Ingham County.

When Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar in January, she told him “I just signed your death warrant.”

"The die was cast in the courtroom and Defendant's sentence was forged by his own words and deeds," Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Richard Garcia said in his ruling. "Consideration of whether he should be resentenced can be fairly reviewed by the the judge uniquely situated to provide justice in this case. The judge who heard these survivors is the only one who should properly render any re-sentence."

Nassar's attorneys can appeal Garcia's ruling or move forward to a hearing before Aquilina to decide if Nassar should be resentenced.

Nassar's attorneys also says he was assaulted in May after being released into general population in federal prison. He is serving his 60-year child pornography sentence at a U.S. penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona.

Michigan State has agreed to pay out $500 million in settlements Nassar abuse victims and multiple victims have sued Nassar, alleging that USA Gymnastics failed to act on the abuse claims and failed to notify the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University, and law enforcement.

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