Larry Nassar files appeal for re-sentencing in Ingham County; says he was attacked in prison

Nassar serving 40 to 175-year sentence

Larry Nassar (WDIV)
Larry Nassar (WDIV)

Imprisoned former sports physician Larry Nassar has filed an appeal to be re-sentenced for an Ingham County sexual abuse case, which landed him a 40 to 175-year prison sentence.

The former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics physician is serving this sentence concurrently to the 40 to 175 years in prison he received for sexual abuse in Eaton County, Mich. and on top of the 60-year federal sentence he received for child pornography crimes. 

More than 150 victims -- 156 to be exact -- delivered impact statements during the seven-day sentencing hearing in Ingham County. Nassar sat and listened to all of the statements. 

In November, he had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting young athletes including some girls under the age of 13. The 54-year-old originally was charged with more than 20 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and was scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 4. Instead he agreed to a plea deal that could have gotten him a minimum prison sentence of 25 years. He admitted he sexually assaulted the girls for his own pleasure without any medical grounds. 

Nassar wants judge disqualified

According to the court filing, Nassar is asking that the judge who sentenced him, Judge Rose Marie Aquilina, be disqualified. He claims she made up her mind before court proceedings even happened. 

"She had already decided to impose the maximum allowed by the sentence agreement even before the sentencing hearing began," reads the court filing. "Thus, from the defendant's perspective the sentencing hearing was just a ritual."

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

Nassar claims Aquilina 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 the victims."

Nassar attacked in prison, filing says

Furthermore, in the same court filing, Nassar reported being physically attacked while in federal prison "within a few hours of being placed in the general population." That was after a victim's father tried to attack Nassar in an Eaton County court. He claims Aquilina made comments and conducted the sentencing hearing in a such a way that she "appeared to encourage this type of behavior."

Read back: Judge doesn't punish father who charged at Larry Nassar in courtroom

Nassar's motions were filed this week in Ingham County. That means another hearing will be held in Ingham County. Nassar wants the county's chief judge to review this sentencing. 

Nassar spoke in court

When he was sentenced on Jan. 24 he offered this statement in court:

"Your words these past several days have had a significant emotional effect on myself and have shaken me to my core," he said. "I also recognize that what I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling. No words can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred. An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest my days."

Michigan State University fallout

The scandal rocked Michigan State University, which has been accused of repeatedly missing opportunities to stop Nassar, who had a campus office and was a revered figure in sports medicine.

Lou Anna Simon resigned as Michigan State's president on Jan. 24 and athletic director Mark Hollis followed two days later. 

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler was appointed interim president of Michigan State on Jan. 31. The university is searching for a new president and plans to have the position filled by summer 2019. 

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