Headlines from the New York Times for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Victims in Larry Nassar Abuse Case Find a Fierce Advocate: The Judge
After Bailey Lorencen finished her turn excoriating Lawrence G. Nassar, a prominent doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics and other sports who has pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes, she gazed at the judge presiding over the surging outpouring from young women in a courtroom here.
The judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, who has now allowed nearly 140 girls and women, including several prominent Olympic gymnasts, to give public statements against Dr. Nassar, leaned forward from the bench. She then smiled and delivered her own heartfelt statement in a manner and tone befitting a therapist.
“The military has not yet come up with fiber as strong as you,” Judge Aquilina told Ms. Lorencen on Monday morning, calling her a “heroine” and a “superhero” and adding: “Mattel ought to make toys so that little girls can look at you and say, ‘I want to be her.’ Thank you so much for being here, and for your strength.”
Judge Aquilina’s vow to let every victim speak also has unexpectedly turned the hearing into a cathartic forum that has emboldened dozens of women who had remained silent to come forward with accounts of abuse by Dr. Nassar. Court officials initially had expected 88 young women to speak when the hearing began last week but the number has mushroomed to 158 registered to make statements as of the start of Tuesday’s proceedings.
Judge Aquilina’s unconventional approach has not elicited any discernible criticism, but she has generated attention. Not only has she opened the floodgates to emotional testimony in a very pronounced way, but she seems determined to lend her voice, shedding any pretense of judicial distance.
Several victims — and their parents — have thanked Judge Aquilina, including Doug Powell, whose daughter Kassie spoke out last week as one of Dr. Nassar’s many accusers.
“Judge Aquilina, I applaud you,” Mr. Powell said after his daughter addressed the court. “We applaud you. This room applauds you.”
Readings from Proverbs for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Today’s headlines are a mixture of both kind and cruel. The actions of Dr. Nassar are exceptionally cruel. The actions of Judge Aquilina are kind and helpful. Today, let’s pray for God’s healing power to extend to victims of childhood pain.
Proverbs 11.17-18 – Those who are kind reward themselves, but the cruel do themselves harm. The wicked earn no real gain, but those who sow righteousness get a true reward.
Prayers for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Dear God, we pray for your healing power to reach victims of child abuse.