Michigan judge dismisses complaints made by Larry Nassar about his sentencing hearing
LANSING, Mich. -- Larry Nassar told a circuit court judge in a letter this week that he wasn't sure if he was mentally able to handle facing a week of comments from the women he has admitted to abusing for decades.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in November. Part of the plea deal allowed all of the 135 women who have accused Nassar of abusing them -- many when they sought him out for medical treatment -- to confront him and share their stories with the court. He wrote a six-page letter to Judge Rosemarie Aquilina this week detailing his concerns about the sentencing hearing for his mental health.
Nassar's letter accused the judge of grandstanding and conducting a "media circus" during the hearing that started Tuesday. Nassar said the judge placed him in the witness box to face the women speaking out against him so that cameras would also be pointed in her direction. Aquilina told him he was in the witness box so that the women didn't have to turn to address him while facing the court.
"I have to say, this isn't worth the paper it's written on," Aquilina said about Nassar's letter. "There's no truth in here. It's delusional."
Aquilina told him that mental health officials and emergency medical technicians are on alert, should he need them. She did not take pity on what he said was a call for help in the form of his letter.
"You may find it harsh that you are here listening," she said. "But nothing is as harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands."
Aquilina said she will address more of the lengthy letter at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled to end Friday. She is not sure yet if she will release it in full to the public.
On Thursday morning, Aquilina heard from former Olympic gymnasts Jamie Dantzscher and McKayla Maroney. A prosecutor read a statement from Maroney, who won gold and silver medals at the 2012 Olympics. Maroney said Nassar "left scars on [her] psyche that may never go away."
The hearing will continue until each of the women who wishes to speak has had an opportunity to do so. More than 100 women are expected to address Nassar in the courtroom; 51 spoke on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Prosecutors said more women continue to come forward asking for an opportunity to address the court, emboldened by watching others during the previous days.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.