These are Judge Aquilina’s most powerful quotes from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse trial

'I just signed your death warrant'

Disgraced Team USA doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years in prison this week, after being accused of abuse and assault by over 160 women and girls.

Following revelations prompted by the #metoo movement, the 54-year-old national team physician, previously sentenced to 60 years in jail for possession of child pornography, became the focus of a watershed trial for women.

Presiding over the trial was Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who allowed each victim to personally address Larry Nassar at their testimony this week, staring directly at their attacker and one by one recalling their experiences.

Former gymnast Jeanette Antolin addresses Larry Nassar. Credit: Rex

While the past seven days have been pain-filled, with the ‘sister victims’ flanked by loved ones having to recall horrific memories, what has come out of the courtroom is a great deal of empowerment – something that Judge Aquilina is being credited for.

As woman after woman took to the podium, they were welcomed by judge Aquilina, and praised for their bravery. And when she delivered her final verdict, the judge told the 54-year-old ‘I just signed your death warrant.’

Mentor and coach to former athlete Gwen Anderson, or ‘Victim 83,’ glares at Larry Nassar while Anderson speaks of Nassar’s sexual assaults. Credit: Rex

‘To Judge Aquilina: THANK YOU, YOU ARE MY HERO,’ tweeted olympic gymnast Simone Biles after the verdict was announced. ‘And shout out to all of the survivors for being so brave & speaking like the queens that you are while looking at that monster. He will no longer have the power to steal our happiness or joy. I stand with every one of you.’

The Michigan Attorney General prosecution team gathers after Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina hands down her sentence to Larry Nassar. Credit: Rex

Here are Judge Aquilina’s most powerful quotes from the Larry Nassar trial

1.  To the survivors as the verdict was read…
‘I have said what I need to say to the victims. I have a little more to say. You are no longer victims, you are survivors.’

2. To survivor and gymnast Bailey Lorencen…
‘The military has not yet come up with fibre as strong as you…. Mattel ought to make toys so that little girls can look at you and say, “I want to be her.” Thank you so much for being here, and for your strength.’

3. To survivor and Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman…
‘I’m an adult. I’m listening. I’m sorry it took this long, but I assure you that all of the words that you and your sister-survivors have said and will say are being considered for sentencing.’

4. To Larry Nassar… 
‘As much as it was my honour and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honour and privilege to sentence you’

5. To everyone in her final statement…
‘I give everybody a voice. I give defendants a voice, their families when they’re here. I give the victims a voice. I try to treat everybody like family because that’s the justice system that I was raised to believe in.’

6. To gymnast and survivor Olivia Cowan…
‘Your dreams are still out there. His are squashed.’

7. To one survivor…
‘The monster who took advantage of you is going to wither, much like the scene in the Wizard of Oz where the water gets poured on the witch and the witch withers away. That’s what’s going to happen to him, because as you get stronger, as you overcome, because you will, he gets weaker and he will wither away. Prison is no place for a human being to live.’

8. To everyone in her final statement…
‘Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment. If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls—these young women in their childhood—I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others.’

9. To Larry Nassar…
‘I just signed your death warrant.’

10. To the survivors in her final statement…
‘Leave your pain here. Go out and do your magnificent things.’

 

 

 

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