When it comes to crime, judges rarely get cast in the role of hero. But for Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, although it's been over a year since she sentenced the infamous former Team USA and MSU gymnastics doctor/predator, she's still being contacted by victims of abuse.
And in keeping with her social-media hero status, when asked about the Nassar case in a recent interview with local news, she spoke broadly and explained that more needs to be done to support abuse victims. She suggested strengthening mandatory reporting laws, educating even the janitors on the warning signs, as well as simply not leaving doctors alone with minor patients.
While Judge Aquilina was blowing up on social media for being righteous, many were criticizing the judge for the language she used during the sentencing. But as she told the local media, her words were not just her own, but rather a reflection of the community. And that parade of 150 victims, she explains, wasn't something unusual in her courtroom. Well, the sheer number of victims was definitely out of the ordinary, however, Judge Aquilina explained that her usual routine for sentencing allows all alleged victims to speak at sentencing hearings.
Although the court of public opinion has certainly made up its mind about Nassar, an appeal is currently pending. Judge Aquilina is not concerned, and seemed to express, without even saying so, that she welcomed the appeal to confirm her decision and 170-year sentence. As the interview report explained, the judge seems to be happy on the bench, and has no plans of changing paths at the moment.
Speak Up for Justice
One very important point that Judge Aquilina makes is that "We need to use our voices to tell people what to look for, how to stop this, how to be part of the solution." Educating others and raising awareness on the signs of abuse, as well as what to do when abuse is suspected, can go a long way toward stopping it.