It’s been one week since former USA Gymnastics doctor and osteopathic physician at Michigan State, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse. One important figure stands out amidst the national attention the case received: Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.
Aquilina has received praised on social media for her time residing over the high profile case. The video of her throwing away the letter Nassar wrote about how difficult it was for him to listen to the extended amount of testimonies against him from multiple victims circulated throughout Twitter as a stand against sexual predators.
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
This is not the first high profile case has Aquilina presided over. She was the judge in the 2006 case against seven-year-old Ricky Holland’s adoptive parents; who were accused of killing their adopted son. She also filed an advisory memorandum to former President Obama in 2013 after finding the city of Detroit in violation of the state constitution by filing bankruptcy.
Victims of Nassar have come forward to praise Judge Aquilina for her strength while providing over the case. Aquilina’s no-nonsense attitude gained her the nickname “Barracuda Aquilina” during her 20 years as the first female Judge Advocate General’s Corps Officer of the Michigan Army National Guard. Olympic gymnasts like Jordyn Weiber and Simone Biles are among many thanking Aquilina.
“She’s a boss,” Biles told NBC, “But the Judge is my hero because she gave it to him straight and didn’t let him get any power over the girls.”
Thank you to Judge Aquilina. Thank you to EVERY SINGLE person that came forward and shared their story, both in and out of the courtroom. And thank you to everyone who has reached out in support. ❤️ justice was served today and now it’s time for CHANGE #timesup pic.twitter.com/mI24s9qn1t
— Jordyn Wieber (@jordyn_wieber) January 24, 2018
The trial serves as a facet of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that call for accountability and change against sexual assault and harassment, and Aquilina’s strength marked a move towards the accountability of sexual predators.
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