Judge Rosemarie Aquilina

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    Judge Rosemarie Aquilina: Biography at a Glance

    • Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is best known for presiding over the 2018 Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, where she allowed over 150 women and girls to present personal testimony against Larry Nassar.
    • Aquilina sentenced Nassar to up to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse over two decades.
    • In 2013,  she found the city of Detroit's bankruptcy filing to violate the state constitution and sent an advisory memorandum to President Obama.
    • An adjunct professor at Michigan State University College of Law and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, she has received multiple honors for teaching excellence.
    • After joining the Michigan Army National Guard, she became the state's first female member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps and served for 20 years before retiring.



    Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is most notable for presiding over the 2018 USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal and sentencing Larry Nassar to up to 175 years in prison.

    She was elected to the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County in November of 2008. Previously, she served as a 55th District Court Judge for 4 years, during which time she served as Chief Judge as well as the Sobriety Court Judge.

    Judge Aquilina retired Honorably from the Michigan Army National Guard after twenty years of service. She became part of Michigan’s history by becoming the first female JAG Officer in the Michigan Army National Guard when she enlisted. Ultimately, she became one of the most requested JAG Officers because of her dedication to service and the soldiers she served with.

    Judge Aquilina began her legal career serving as the Administrative Assistant to State Senator John F. Kelly for ten years. Thereafter, she partnered with Senator Kelly in a successful lobbying firm, Strategic Governmental Consultants, PLLC. At the same time, she opened Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, which grew to become very successful and which resulted in her becoming the host of Ask the Family Lawyer, which became syndicated. In addition, Judge Aquilina is a published author of a fictional novel and her next novel will be out soon.

    Throughout her career, Judge Aquilina has given back to the community in numerous ways, and has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Board of Water and Light and the City of Lansing Elected Officers Compensation Commission. She currently serves as a mentor for the State Bar of Michigan Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program.

    Judge Aquilina is an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School where she enjoys teaching classes to include Family Law, Advanced Trial Practice-Family Law, Legislative Process, Defending Battered Women, Animal Law, Child Abuse and Neglect, Elder Law, and Military Law. Cooley Law School awarded Judge Aquilina the distinguished Griffen Award for Teaching Excellence. She is also an adjunct professor at Michigan State University School of Law teaching numerous classes in the Feiger Trial Practice Institute to include Criminal Trial Practice, Civil Trial Practice, Trial Practicum, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure in the JD and LLM programs. Michigan State University honored Judge Aquilina with the College of Law Student Bar Association Adjunct Faculty Award for exceptional teaching.

    Judge Aquilina earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1984 and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Michigan State University in 1979. She has five children and two grandchildren and resides in East Lansing, Michigan.


    She was nothing short of amazing. It was a groundbreaking day.

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