Disgraced USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar was assaulted by inmates at the Arizona prison where he is serving his sentence for sexual assault and child pornography charges.
Nassar was allegedly attacked “within a few hours of being placed in general population” in late May, according to court documents obtained by Us Weekly. The docs were filed on Tuesday, July 24, in Ingham County Circuit Court, Michigan, by Nassar and his attorneys.
The 54-year-old’s lawyers are partially blaming the incident on Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the USA Gymnastics sex abuse case and sentenced Nassar in January to up to 175 years in prison.
“The judge allowed the proceedings to devolve into a free-for-all, in which speakers were given free reign to denigrate the defendant, sometimes in profane terms; to wish physically harm upon the defendant; to disparage and ridicule his constitutional rights, including his right to counsel; to accuse entities and institutions of wrongdoing; and even to accuse uncharged individuals of wrongdoing and crimes, including calling for their incarceration or other punishment,” the documents read. “Unfortunately, Judge Aquilina’s comments and conducting of the sentencing proceeding appeared to encourage this type of behavior.”
More than 200 women have accused Nassar of sexual abuse dating as far back as 1997. Nearly 150 of Nassar’s survivors, including Olympian Aly Raisman, former gymnast Sarah Klein and and softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez, came together to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPY Awards on July 18.
“1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. These were the years we spoke up about Larry Nassar’s abuse,” Raisman said on stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “All those years we were told, ‘You are wrong. You misunderstood. He’s a doctor. It’s OK. Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Be careful. There are risks involved.’ The intention? To silence us in favor of money, medals and reputation. But we persisted, and finally someone listened and believed us.”
Raisman also thanked Aquilina, who was in the audience.
“Judge Rosemarie Aquilina showed a profound level of understanding by giving us each an opportunity to face our abuser, to speak our truth, and feel heard. Thank you, Judge, for honoring our voices,” she said. “For too long, we were ignored, and you helped us rediscover the power we each possess. You may never meet the hundreds of children you saved, but know they exist.”