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Women’s Resource Center invites Judge Aquilina, who sentenced Larry Nassar, to speak

TRAVERSE CITY — On Thursday, May 23, the honorable Judge Rosemarie Aquilina joined the Women Resource Center in Traverse to help raise the voices of survivors of sexual assault.

“Everybody needs to be able to talk in their own time without any pressure,” said Ingham County 30th Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Aquilina. “It’s really up to them. But they need to know that there are qualified people who will help.”

She is best known as the judge who sentenced Larry Nassar in the USA Gymnastics sex scandal. In the landmark trial Aquilina allowed over 150 victims to present personal testimony.


“For my 20 years on the bench, I’ve always let everybody speak,” says Aquilina. “That was not unique to me. They put it in writing that 125 could speak. And I said, ‘That’s not my agreement. I meant and I said, everyone.’

“[The victims] said, ‘Judge, may I talk with him?’ ‘Yes, you may.’ And they looked him in the eyes and they said, ‘I am not a number, I am a name, and you hurt me.’ And they told their story and then they talked with me.

“And I watched them literally grow and empower themselves and leave, shedding their pain and taking steps forward in their life that I don’t know that they could have taken so quickly had they not had that day and time in court.”

Her passion for advocating for survivors of sexual assault as helped to restore justice and bring hope to hundreds of survivors.


“She’s seen survivor after survivor come forward and bravely share their story. So she’s got the credibility to be able to speak to this topic and we, as the Women’s Resource Center, have the credibility to be able to provide the support to the survivors who come forward and don’t want to either,” said Women’s Resource Center Executive Director Juliette Schultz.

Judge Aquilina also had a message for all abuse survivors.

“They’ll have to be ready because once they tell her story, if they want to prosecute, it takes a lot. But there are people who can help them, advocates and other trained individuals. So there’s always hope.”

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