Judge Nap: Judge Aquilina ‘Is an American Hero’ for Allowing the Victims to Speak
NAPOLITANO: "Well, he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven young women. And she permitted over a hundred young women to tell their stories to her about what he did to them. So you have 93 people testifying in the sentencing hearing in a case that they were not involved in. Why were they not involved? Many of them didn’t want to go through the trauma of testifying. So she, the judge, has been criticized for having a sentencing hearing take seven days when it should take about two hours and having people not in the case testify. I reject that criticism. I think she is an American hero by permitting victims to engage in a catharsis, in a release of what they have been keeping in them as a result of the harm that he caused. And under the rules, she is permitted to take into account what we call prior bad acts, behavior of the defendant, similar to who he was convicted of but for which for one reason or another he was not charged. So even though this took seven days, her behavior was nothing short of heroic; not just for victims, not just for women but for the entire criminal justice system to do the right thing in a -- in a methodical and rational way."