The moment Judge Rosemarie Aquilina threw away Larry Nassar's apology and let his victims speak.

Justice was well and truly served on Wednesday as disgraced former USA Gymnastics physician Dr Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years jail for several counts of sexual abuse.

The decision that Nassar should spend the rest of his life behind bars came from Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who has drawn both praise and criticism for her presiding over the case.

So let’s take a look at the moments that had most of us cheering (and some sad people sulking).

She threw out Nassar’s apology.

In a moment that was so kick-arse, it’s spawned its own GIF, Judge Aquilina showed Nassar just what she thought of him and his apology.

Nassar, who molested his victims under the guise of giving “treatment,” gave a verbal apology in the courtroom after hearing the victim’s statements in which he said he would “carry your words with me for the rest of my days”.

However, before the sentencing hearing ended,  Judge Aquilina took a moment to read excerpts from a letter that Nassar had recently written to the court, which showed a completely different perspective.

In it, he argues that his conviction of 60 years jail over child porn charges had coloured people’s view of him, making the trial “unfair”.

“What I did in the state cases was medical, not sexual, but because of the porn I lost all credibility…” Judge Aquilina read aloud from his letter. “It’s wrong. I was a good doctor because my treatments worked and those patients that are now speaking out were the same ones that praised and came back over and over. The media convinced them that it was wrong and bad.”

Larry Nassar USA gymnastics sexual assault
Larry Nassar. (Image via Getty.)

At another point, Judge Aquilina read aloud Nassar's horrifically inappropriate use of the phrase: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

After finishing reading the letter, in which Nassar claimed he just wanted to "minimise stress to everyone", the judge chucked the letter away in disgust.

But not all were happy with the disdain the judge showed for Nassar. Several (mostly male) Twitter users commented Nassar had been too harsh on the man, but many more were quick to point out the sexism in this criticism.


She let all the victims share their stories.

It's up to the judge to allow which witnesses will speak in court, what evidence is admissible and which victims will be allowed to share their story.

Judge Aquilina made a powerful statement about a victim's right to share their pain by allowing a total of 156 victims - by all accounts everyone who wanted to - sit in court and read aloud their victim-impact statements as Nassar sat metres away, hearing of the damage he caused.

"You may find it harsh that you are here listening," Judge Aquilina told Nassar. "But nothing is as harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands."

To the victims, meanwhile, Judge Aquilina showed compassion and encouragement.

"You are so strong and brave and you are not broken, you are glued back together perfectly," she told one woman, Mattie Larson. "Thank you for being a part of the sister survivors. Your voice means everything."

Her sentencing.

Judge Aquilina described Nassar's abuse of children under his care as "precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable." Which is why she saw it has her "honour and privilege" to sentence him.

"You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable," she said.

To add to the impact of the life-long sentence she just gave, Judge Aquilina added: "I just signed your death warrant."

The courtroom broke into applause when the hearing ended, and we did too.