Here are the most powerful Judge Aquilina quotes from the Larry Nassar trial
The world was horrified when USA gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was accused of 160 counts of sexual abuse. During a hearing in Michigan, multiple women stepped forward and talked about how Nassar’s so-called “medical treatments” lead them to further pain and depression. Many of his victims were minors, and a majority were gymnasts, with Olympic team members Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas admitting that they were victims of Nassar. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to serve 175 years, and people can’t stop talking about her powerful, inspiring statement that she gave to the former doctor. Judge Aquilina not only stood up for the survivors, but got personal while announcing the verdict.
Judge Aquilina, who works for the 30th Circuit Court of Ingham County, Michigan, decided to let each victim speak up against Nassar personally. Many discussed how broken they felt, having to undergo such misery in hopes of making it further into their career. “Larry, my coaches and U.S.A. Gymnastics turned the sport I fell in love with as a kid into my personal living hell,” gymnast Mattie Larson said in court. “All I can think of is how this man, someone who held oh-so-many high credentials, was the monster who left me with more pain and scars than I came to his office with,” gymnast Jade Capua mentioned.
While we loved the powerful words that these women had to say, we also applaud Judge Aquilina, who gave such a moving statement after sentencing Nassar.
Here are just some quotes from the trial that showcase Judge Aquilina’s strength, intelligence, and professionalism.
"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."
It’s important to make the distinction, and we’re so glad that Judge Aquilina made sure to include this line at the beginning of her 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."
When discussing a past event that brought you pain, it’s crucial to feel as if you can speak up in a safe environment. That’s exactly the type of court room that Judge Aquilina strives to maintain.
" If you ask me a question, you better be ready for the answer. I speak out because I want change. Because I don't believe in hiding the truth. I am not saying I am always right. But I try."
Even though Judge Aquilina noted that she “doesn’t have many friends” based on her tendency to speak out, we think that telling the truth is an essential quality — especially if you want things to improve.
"That you still think that somehow you are right that you are a doctor and you are entitled and you don't have to listen and that you did treatment. I would not send my dogs to you, sir. There is no treatment here."
As Nassar stated that he provided “medical treatment,” it was good to hear him get shut down. Judge Aquilina stated that she has doctors in her family, and knows that medical practices often change. Still, his “treatment” was nowhere near medical, or beneficial to anyone.
"As much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again."
The fact that the judge is holding him accountable for his actions is huge. After this statement, she made sure to add, “I have just signed your death warrant.”
"Even then if you talk to me about this case, I will have a survivor with me because it is their story."
While everyone can’t’ stop talking about Judge Aquilina, she makes such an important point — this isn’t her story to tell. While she had such a big part in the final chapter, she was simply the person who helped let the truth come out.