Judge calls Nassar lawyer’s comments ‘unfortunate’

Posted at 9:20 AM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 09:20:29-05

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge says controversial comments made by an attorney for disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar were “unfortunate.”

Judge Janice Cunningham opened the second day of Nassar’s final sentencing hearing on Friday by addressing comments that attorney Shannon Smith made the day before to radio station WWJ.

Smith said she had doubts about the large number of women and girls who say they are victims.

The judge says Nassar didn’t authorize the statements and has disavowed them. Cunningham says it’s unfortunate Smith made the comments during the sentencing proceedings.

Cunningham says “what is relevant is for the court to hear each individual story and how the criminal actions of the defendant impacted each individual’s life.”

The hearing focuses on Nassar’s work with Twistars, an elite Michigan gymnastics club. More than 30 victims have given statements so far. During a similar hearing that ended last week, more than 150 girls and women came forward.