The Roar of a Lion
This morning, while tears streamed down my cheeks, I sat in my living room in awe. Though it was a bittersweet moment, it was a moment filled with sweet justice. Today a lion roared, excuse me, lioness, and she roared loudly. I watched the sentencing of Larry Nassar; no Dr. in front of his name any longer, as he has been rightfully stripped of his title. While Judge Rosemarie Aquilina did not set out to be a hero, today, she, along with every victim of Larry Nassar, are my heroes. These women knew they were facing a demon bigger than just one little man. Still, they bravely came forth and brought his darkness into the light.
This depraved, vile man was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography, with an additional 175 years from Judge Aquilina. It is a far cry from a six-month sentence, with parole in three months. Her sentence was bold; it is an assurance any light of day he ever sees will only be from behind bars.
Over the past week, 156 brave individuals read their victim impact statement in court. In case you were not following this story, the number 156 is not exaggerated. Judge Aquilina opened her courtroom to every victim, returning something else that had been stolen from each of the 156 victims...their voice. She told one of the victims, "Leave your pain here and go out and do your magnificent things." What a gift.
Nassar claimed to listen to his victim’s statement was “mental abuse.” I wonder if he ever stopped to consider the lifetime of mental anguish, which he personally and willfully instilled upon his victims. Given his demeanor during the victim's statements, I will say no...but now he has the remainder of his life to allow each of their words to run through his mind.