Judge who heard Nassar case won’t disqualify herself

Nassar sentencing AP 6 012418_466241

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge who sentenced disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar to prison for molesting women and girls says she won’t disqualify herself if higher courts send the case back to fix any errors.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina on Friday defended her handling of the Nassar case. His appellate lawyers are accusing her of bias during a seven-day hearing in January when more than 150 victims spoke. At one point, the judge said Nassar deserved cruel punishment if the Constitution would allow it.

Aquilina says some comments may have been “unartful.” But she says she wasn’t biased.

Nassar was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison, but his lawyers say he deserves another hearing. He’s first serving a decadeslong sentence for federal child pornography crimes.

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