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Larry Nassar gets some of his own medicine

Mike Peer

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Attorneys say Larry Nassar was assaulted in prison; they’re blaming the judge who sentenced him

Jul 26, 2018 3:05 pm
Attorneys say Larry Nassar was assaulted in prison; they’re blaming the judge who sentenced him

Attorneys for convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar filed court documents, alleging he was assaulted in prison and requesting new sentencing. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Lawyers for convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar filed court documents requesting new sentencing along with claims that inmates have assaulted the former doctor who’s serving a 60-year federal sentence in an Arizona prison, The Detroit News reported.

In late May, fellow prisoners allegedly attacked Nassar shortly after being released into the general population at the nation’s only high-security federal prison for males, according to the documents filed Tuesday in Ingham County Circuit Court.

Nassar’s attorneys have requested new sentencing and accused Judge Rosemarie Aquilina of showing her bias and wishing the 54-year-old Nassar physical harm.

Nassar is currently serving a 60-year sentence for child pornography. The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault for which he received two additional sentences in January. Hundreds of women and girls have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.

The Tucson facility has a sex offender management program. Ralph Miller, a retired Bureau of Prisons employee, told the newspaper that about 70 to 80 percent of Tucson’s prison population are sex offenders.


Why are the attorneys blaming the judge?

Nassar’s attorneys have alleged that Aquilina allowed the court proceedings to “devolve into a free-for-all,” according to the documents, The Detroit News reported.

“The judge herself openly lamented that she could not impose cruel and unusual punishment upon the defendant, indicated her expectation that he would be harmed in prison, without condemning it, and finally proclaimed, with apparent relish, that she was signing his ‘death warrant,'” state appellate defender Jacqueline McCann wrote.

“Unfortunately, Judge Aquilina’s comments and conducting of the sentencing proceeding appeared to encourage this type of behavior,” McCann continued.

While the assault claims could position Nassar to be moved to another prison, it probably wouldn’t keep him from being a target.

“He was constantly in the news,” Miller said. “He is not going to be able to hide anywhere.”

Why are they requesting new sentencing?

According to Nassar’s lawyers, the judge had predetermined that he would receive the maximum sentence allowed.

“Judge Aquilina made numerous statements throughout the proceedings indicating that she had already decided to impose the maximum allowed by the sentence agreement even before the sentencing hearing began,” McCann wrote in the filing.”Thus, from the defendant’s perspective, the sentencing hearing was just a ritual.

“Instead of a proceeding to assist the judge in reaching a fair and just sentencing decision, the judge used the nationally-televised proceeding as an opportunity to advance her own agenda, including to advocate for policy initiatives within the state as well as the federal legislatures, to push for broader cultural change regarding gender equity and sexual discrimination issues and seemingly as a type of group therapy for victims,” McCann wrote.

Aquilina declined The Detroit News’ request for comment Wednesday.

McCann also declined the news outlet’s request for comment in recent weeks.

What else?

In May, Michigan State University reached a $500 million settlement with more than 300 of Nassar’s accusers, The Lansing State Journal reported.

Civil lawsuit negotiations are ongoing with the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, and others.

Multiple investigations into how the Nassar got away with decades of sexual assaults under the guise of medical treatment are still underway.

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