A Letter To People Who Had a Problem With Judge Aquilina Statements to Larry Nassar

Unless you've been under a rock, you've probably seen the headlines about the US Gymnast and Michigan State sports doctor Larry Nassar, who has been convicted of sexually abusing gymnasts and other women.  You've probably also heard about the judge who sentenced him to 175 years in prison. Her name is Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Judge Aquilina didn't just simply sentence him. She very openly expressed her distaste for what Nassar did and famously told him that she "just signed his death warrant." You can watch and read the full, powerful and truthful conversation here. I have included some of the most powerful quotes from the speech below. 

"The national crime victimization survey that's done by the (US) Justice Department annually reports that 310 out of every 1,000 assaults are reported to the police, which means that two out of three go unreported. To the voices of everyone that report, keep your voice up. Rachael's voice hopefully will raise these numbers of reports in all your voices. But that statistic does not include children 12 and under. One in 10 children will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday. One in seven girls and one in 25 boys by their 18th birthday. That means that in the United States, I am not talking about any other country, but in the United States, 400,000 babies born in the US will become victims of child sexual abuse. It stops now. Speak out like these survivors, become part of the army." 

"It was not treatment what you did. It was not medical. There is no medical evidence that was ever brought."

"This letter which comes two months after your plea tells me that you have not yet owned what you did. 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. You finally told the truth."

Per-usual, she was both praised and berated for the things that she said to Nassar. Today I am going to tell you why she should only be praised for the things she said to this monster of a man. 

Larry Nassar has abused and assaulted at least 160 women. Those numbers aren't a guesstimate those are the women that have actually come forward with statement's of the abuse. 160 women, who thought that their doctor would be safe to be around and would "do no harm" since you know, he took an oath to do just that.  Those are just the ones that felt comfortable enough to come forward. Kaylee Lorincz was 13 when Nassar assaulted her for the first time. Rachael Denhollander was the first victim to come forward and when she had the chance to speak to the court, she said, "How much is a little girl worth? How much is a young woman worth? Larry is a hardened and determined sexual predator. I know this firsthand." These girls came forward to Michigan State and were silenced or ignored. These girls and women were assaulted over and over and over. He did this over and over and over.

The issue here is much larger than the fact that Judge Aquilina was harsh on Nassar. The issue is that some people are more bothered by the aggressive statements she made to a serial child molester than the acts that he committed.  For the record, I fully understand the level of respect that is expected from Judges. I understand the role they play. I also don't think she was harsh. He deserved what he got. The issue is that this man was systematically allowed to ruin the lives of countless, and I do mean countless, women and people are still more bothered by a female Judge speaking down to him. Because it's "grandstanding" or "improper." You know what else isn't proper or acceptable? Pedophilia. Rape. Systematic cover ups of rape and sexual assault. US Olympians being assaulted by their doctor. If Judge Aquilina’s statements bother you more than you are bothered by what Larry Nassar did, you need to check your self at the door. 

This case came less than a year after Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in prison for raping an unconscious girl in an alley. Of those six months Turner served only three and was then released. Survivors needed this win after the justice system failed them so greatly 10 months ago. So I'll say it again for the people in the back. What Judge Aquilia said was aggressive and to the point and she was the Judge that these victims needed and the Judge that this case deserved. Larry Nassar has assaulted hundreds of women and girls. If you have more of a problem with her words than what he did to all of those humans, then you need to spend more time listening to their statements. You need to read more statistics on assault and the effects of it. If you're still more bothered by her than by him you need to do some deep self-reflection about your own beliefs. 

And to the victims, you were heard. You made a difference. You should be so proud of the change that you caused. We are with you.

 

 Sources:

CNN.com