After he was reportedly physically assaulted at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona just hours after being released to the general population of the prison for the first time since in May, Larry Nassar believes his prison sentence is too harsh. He is seeking a new judge and a new sentencing hearing as a result of it.
The sentence that the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician is currently serving is a 60-year federal prison sentence that he was issued in December on three child pornography charges, but the focus of the complaints of him and his attorneys is not this sentence nor the judge of this sentence.
In January, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to between 40 and 175 years in state prison on seven sexual assault charges following a seven-day sentencing hearing during which 169 victim impact statements were delivered in front of him in an Ingham County, Michigan courtroom.
It is this sentence that is the focus of the complaints of Nassar and his new attorneys, Jacqueline McCann and Malaika Ramsey-Heath,
"Judge Aquilina made numerous statements throughout the proceedings indicating that she had already decided to impose the maximum allowed by the sentence agreement even before the sentencing hearing began. Thus, from the defendant's perspective the sentencing hearing was just a ritual.
"The judge herself openly lamented that she could not impose cruel and unusual punishment upon the defendant, indicated her expectation that he would be harmed in prison, without condemning it, and finally proclaimed, with apparent relish, that she was signing his 'death warrant.'"
They added the following.
"If resentencing is ordered, it should be with a different judge. Judge Aquilina can be reasonably be expected to have substantial difficulty in putting out of her mind previously-expressed views or findings determined to be erroneous."
After being issued his first state prison sentence for between 40 and 175 years, Nassar was issued a second state prison sentence for between 40 and 125 years in February in an Easton County, Michigan courtroom by Judge Janice Cunningham following a three-day sentencing hearing during which 65 more victim impact statements were delivered front of him. Nassar's lawyers reportedly also plan to file pleadings in Eaton County in the near future.
Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting more than 300 people under the guise of medical treatment for more than two decades. Many of those people are female gymnasts, including Olympic champion gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber.
Appealing sentences is nothing new for Nassar, who appealed the federal prison sentence that he is currently serving. He did so in April but no ruling has been issued on it.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Nassar's attorneys claim that U.S. District Judge Janet Neff, who issued Nassar his 60-year federal prison sentence, "used his 10 sexual assault convictions in state court, for which he had not been sentenced a the time, in calculating the sentence guideline range."