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Michigan Judge Lauded For Giving Victims Platform To Confront Attacker

LANSING, Mich. (CBSNewYork) -- She's being called the face of justice in the U.S. Gymnastics sex abuse trial.

The woman gave victims a platform to confront their attacker.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's message of feminism has been reverberating throughout the country.

"I've just signed your death warrant," she told former U.S. Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar.

The tough as nails judge presided over his sex assault case.

"I wouldn't send my dogs to you sir," she said.

The judge made her disgust for Nassar no secret, notably tearing up and tossing letters from the convicted sex abuser and encouraging every victim to confront the man she called a monster.

"He penetrated me, he groped me, he fondled me, and then he asked me how it felt," victim Rachel Denhollander said.

"You started a tidal wave. You are the bravest person I ever had in my courtroom," Aquilina said.

So who is this lady on the bench?

Aquilina has been a Michigan judge for 14 years. Before taking the bench, she attended law school at Western Michigan University.

Judge Aquilina is also a professor, a mother, grandmother, and a novelist whose books 'Triple Cross Killer' and 'Feel No Evil' are both now sold out on Amazon.

To many people across the country Judge Aquilina is now the face of female empowerment.

"I just felt that the sentencing judge, Aquilina really did honor the victims," Valorie Kondos Field, UCLA gymnastics said.

"Everyone got to say what they wanted or needed to say and to do that is pretty outstanding," Deborah Gonzalez said.

"I thought it was great because all the girls got their stories out and I think it's important for all girls to be able to stand up and speak about if they've been abused in their past," Suzon Kornbluth added.

Aquilina said she would only consider future interviews with a survivor by her side. She said the story isn't about her, it's about them.

Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for multiple sex crimes.

 

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