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Nassar attorneys say judge’s #MeToo advocacy biases resentencing hearing

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JODI WESTRICK
/
Michigan Radio

Lawyers of Larry Nassar are asking for a resentencing hearing for their client, and a new judge to preside over it.

Nassar is the former Michigan State University doctor who, for decades, sexually abused the girls and young women he was supposed to be treating.

Cheyna Roth, of Michigan Radio, joined Stateside to explain the latest news.

Nassar's attorneys wanted Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the original sentencing, to remove herself from Nassar’s appeal. They argued she was too harsh in the original hearing, and called into question her objectivity, pointing out one of Judge Aquilina’s most notable quote from the trial, “I just signed your death warrant,” as evidence of bias.

On Friday, Judge Aquilina issued a ruling in Ingham County Circuit Court saying she would not be recusing herself from Nassar's resentencing. She said that while she is pro-survivor, she is not anti-Nassar.

Since Nassar's first sentencing hearing in January, the judge has been a vocal "advocate for survivors of sexual assault," explained Roth, and has generally been a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement. The judge herself has said “I am an advocate.”

To hear more about Larry Nassar’s request for resentencing, listen above.

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