Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor now spending the rest of his life behind bars, is asking to be resentenced on sexual assault charges in Michigan and for the judge who sentenced him to be disqualified from the case.
Nassar was sentenced by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina of the Ingham County Circuit Court to 40 to 175 years in prison in January, after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades. He is expected to serve that sentence after serving his 60-year sentence in in a federal prison on child pornography charges.
Aquilina ripped into Nassar during an impassioned half-hour announcement of her decision, telling him that "I just signed your death warrant."
Nassar's court-appointed attorneys, in a motion submitted to the Ingham County Circuit Court on Tuesday, said Aquilina used the seven-day sentencing hearing "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."
Because of Aquilina's actions, his attorneys maintain "it should be no surprise" that in a subsequent proceeding held weeks after the Ingham County sentence was handed down, Nassar was physically attacked in an Eaton County courtroom and, "Dr. Nassar reports, that in late May he was physically attacked in federal prison within a few hours of being placed in general population," court documents show.
Nassar's attorneys request for resentencing and correction of the Ingham County judgment are based on three grounds: Aquilina was not an unbiased and impartial judge, his sentence was based on impermissible factors and that Nassar shouldn't be expected to serve his state sentences -- 40-175 years in Ingham County and 40-125 years in Eaton County, to be served concurrently -- after the federal sentence.
Aquilina "will not be conducting any interviews regarding this case during the appeal period," Nicole Smith, Aquilina's judicial assistant, told CNN in a statement.
The Michigan Attorney General's office is aware of and currently reviewing the filing, and the court-appointed lawyers representing Nassar -- Jacqueline McCann and Malaika Ramsey-Heath -- were not immediately available for comment.
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