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Judge Rosemarie Aquilinia denies Request to recuse herself

Posted: 2:08 PM, Aug 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-04 18:08:55Z

LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - Larry Nassar's lawyer plans to go further up the ladder to get a judge removed from his appeal.
Friday judge Rosemarie Aquilina refused to take herself off the case.

FOX 47's Alani Letang was in court Friday morning.

Judge Aquilina doesn't think she was out of line.

She said she believes the harsh words she used at Nassar's sentencing in Ingham County were appropriate.

She said nothing in that hearing indicates bias.

"You're in fact wrong and you're not a mind reader," said Honorable Aquilina.

Larry Nassar's lawyers said the motion isn't just about the day of sentencing, it's about what judge Aquilina did after it.

"The social media engagement, the press engagement, being photographed with victims, and I understand the prosecutors argued that they are signs and words of support the truth is when it comes to sentencing they are an integral part of that equation, and they are an integral part of this court's consideration," said Malaika Ramsey-Heath, Larry Nassar's attorney.

She argued judge Aquilina should've known there was a chance Nassar could appeal and be back before her and that justice cannot be served with her on the bench.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Laura Moody said Aquilina's comments at sentencing didn't cross the line.

"150 plus survivors came to this podium to tell their stories of pain, suffering and betrayal at the hands of Larry Nassar. In the course of those seven days, yes this court used some strong words to convey the community's communication and theirs nothing wrong with that case law makes that clear," said Laura Moody, Chief Deputy Attorney General.

The judge responded, saying she's turned down a mountain of media requests.

"Here's a notebook, I don't know if this is three or four inches these are all the requests. They're waiting for the appeal period to pass. The media wants to talk to me I won't answer. They're here to ask them your self," said Judge Aquilina.

And saying that simply standing up for the victims does not make her biased.

Judge Aquilina said, "ma'am I've always been an advocate for justice and for the right side. If I'm to flip this am I to understand that by defending the defendant you are an advocate for child abuse?or sexual assault? I certainly hope that's not what you're saying and I hope that's not what you're saying."

Aquilina said she will take responsibility when it's appropriate if this case comes back to her

"and correct any error I have made...your motion denied," Aquilina said.

"What happened to the defendant in prison, It was on federal time talk to the federal judge and her harsh words to him. Talk to the department of corrections, I don't know why he was a general population it was a well-known face what happens there. how I have that much power, I do not know it interesting to me that people think that or that you think that," said Ramsey-Heath.

Efforts to remove judge Aquilina aren't over.

Nassar's attorneys are now asking that Ingham County Chief Judge Richard Garcia review their motion.
If he does remove Aquilina from the case -- it will be assigned to another Ingham County Circuit Court Judge.

If none of them take it., the state court administrator's office will assign the case to a judge in a different county.

Nassar was not in court today. He's serving 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges. His state sentences for convictions in Ingham and Eaton County won't start until the federal term ends.