Judge Rosemarie Aquilina (L) looks at Larry Nassar (R) as he listens to a victim's impact statement by Jennifer Rood Bedford prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.
PHOTO: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina (L) looks at Larry Nassar (R) as he listens to a victim's impact statement by Jennifer Rood Bedford prior to being sentenced after being accused of molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice on January 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan.
Now playing
01:30
Judge defends conduct at Nassar sentencing
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Sen. John Cornyn (R) (R-TX) talks with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) while walking to the U.S. Senate chamber for a vote March 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate continues to debate the latest COVID-19 relief bill.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Win McNamee/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: Sen. John Cornyn (R) (R-TX) talks with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) while walking to the U.S. Senate chamber for a vote March 05, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate continues to debate the latest COVID-19 relief bill. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:54
Axelrod breaks down Manchin's surprising move
sinema
PHOTO: CNN
sinema
Now playing
01:50
Senator's move has many on the internet outraged
PHOTO: FBI
Now playing
02:58
Trump State Department official charged in Capitol riot
John King Magic Wall 0305
PHOTO: CNN
John King Magic Wall 0305
Now playing
02:17
President Biden sending a team to the US-Mexico border
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:53
Here's how Canadian schools have stayed open
This image was taken during the first drive of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars on March 4, 2021. The team has spent the weeks since landing checking out the rover to prepare for surface operations.
PHOTO: JPL-Caltech/NASA
This image was taken during the first drive of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars on March 4, 2021. The team has spent the weeks since landing checking out the rover to prepare for surface operations.
Now playing
02:17
NASA releases stunning new images from Mars
Rep john garamendi 0305
PHOTO: CNN
Rep john garamendi 0305
Now playing
02:33
Rep. Garamendi: Any lawmaker involved in Capitol riots ought to be thrown out of Congress
A view of Capitol Hill during heightened security concerns over possible protests or violence tomorrow March 3, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Washington's security posture has been bolstered after threats of a possible March 4, 2021, "breach" of the US Capitol, with the House of Representatives changing its voting plans to avoid gathering members on a day of potential unrest. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
A view of Capitol Hill during heightened security concerns over possible protests or violence tomorrow March 3, 2021, in Washington, DC. - Washington's security posture has been bolstered after threats of a possible March 4, 2021, "breach" of the US Capitol, with the House of Representatives changing its voting plans to avoid gathering members on a day of potential unrest. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:18
Rep. Sarbanes: Failure to pass HR 1 'would split our democracy in two'
Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner  attends a press conference on September 4, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner attends a press conference on September 4, 2020, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:50
Jared Kushner disappears from Trump's inner circle
PHOTO: CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell
Now playing
02:14
Governor Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett speaks out
In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Powell told Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021,  that the central bank will not begin raising interest rates until the Fed believes it has reached its goals on maximum employment  and warned that many people in the hardest hit industries will likely need to find different jobs.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)
PHOTO: Susan Walsh/AP
In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Powell told Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, that the central bank will not begin raising interest rates until the Fed believes it has reached its goals on maximum employment and warned that many people in the hardest hit industries will likely need to find different jobs. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)
Now playing
02:18
Jerome Powell: US economy 'some time' away from full recovery
A customer wears a face mask while shopping for flowers displayed for sale from a wholesale merchant ahead of the Valentine's Day holiday at the Southern California Flower Market on February 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. - While some florists note an increased demand for socially distant gifts, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted global supply chains and shut down most large events including weddings where flowers are popular. The Valentine's Day and Mother's Day holidays are historically the two busiest days of the year for floral businesses. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP
A customer wears a face mask while shopping for flowers displayed for sale from a wholesale merchant ahead of the Valentine's Day holiday at the Southern California Flower Market on February 12, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. - While some florists note an increased demand for socially distant gifts, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted global supply chains and shut down most large events including weddings where flowers are popular. The Valentine's Day and Mother's Day holidays are historically the two busiest days of the year for floral businesses. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
States rolling back Covid-19 safety measures as cases continue to rise
PHOTO: CBS' 60 Minutes+/Getty Images
Now playing
01:45
'QAnon Shaman' says he has one regret about January 6
psaki
PHOTO: CNN
psaki
Now playing
00:56
Psaki fires back at Trump testing czar over vaccine claims
Now playing
02:30
Alabama governor explains why she's ending mask mandate
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:35
See what security looks like outside US Capitol
(CNN) —  

One of the most memorable voices from serial sex abuser Larry Nassar’s January sentencing was that of Michigan Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.

Nassar’s team of public defenders say Aquilina was biased in rendering her decision and have asked for a new sentencing hearing with a different judge. Last week, the state court of appeals agreed to hear Nassar’s motion to be resentenced.

When Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison, she ripped into the former USA Gymnastics doctor, who had pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. The judge imagined aloud what she’d like to do to Nassar if not for the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution.

“Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment,” she said. “If it did, I have to say, I might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls – these young women in their childhood – I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others.”

In her remarks, she responded to a letter he wrote to her accusing her of running a media circus.

She told Nassar, once a renowned doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, that there was no truth in his letter and he was being delusional.

In a statement issued Monday, the State Appellate Defender Office wrote, “It is in the most difficult cases that we must be especially vigilant to ensure that the rule of law prevails.”

In their September filing, Nassar’s attorneys wrote that the judge used the sentencing hearing to advance an agenda and that she had her mind made up about a sentence before the hearing began.

AG supports judge

The Michigan Attorney General’s office defended the judge, saying the conduct and language cited by Nassar’s attorneys all came after the former doctor admitted his guilt.

“Once his guilt had been determined, the court’s role shifted from exclusively being an impartial arbiter to an entity carrying the voice of the community,” the filing said.

At the time of Nassar’s sentencing, Aquilina said she wouldn’t talk to the media until after the appeals process. But in November, she told NBC’s “Today” show that she considered his side fairly and impartially. She said listening to nearly 160 people give impact statements was “so transformational for me.”

She also spoke to the Detroit News in April, and to other media since.

Aquilina declined to comment through her spokesperson Jennifer Davis.

Experts found her approach different

The judge’s courtroom approach was striking and uncommon, legal experts said in January, particularly during impact statements, which are designed to give victims their day in court.

Victim Amanda Cormier told the court she lost her passion for music after Nassar abused her.

Aquilina listened to her and then offered some advice to Cormier – and to her unborn baby.

“It seems to me, after this, you can finish writing. You found your voice,” Aquilina said. “It’s a strong, effective, brave voice, and you have a child coming. Maybe what you need to do is start and finish a lullaby.”

Getting personal with the victims of the case was very unusual, one expert said at the time.

“It’s not really an opportunity for a judge to give a comforting statement, psychiatric counsel, (or) trauma advice,” said Stacy Schneider, a criminal defense attorney and legal commentator. “That wasn’t the purpose of it.”

Stu Slotnick, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, said it was unusual for a judge to express an strong opinons before a sentence is announced.

Judges showing empathy for victims is “totally appropriate,” according to Jennifer Long, the chief executive officer at Aequitas, an organization that offers resources to prosecutors in cases of sexual and domestic violence.

“I don’t think that’s any way in contradiction to the rules of the judge. It demonstrates that the judge is understanding of the victim’s suffering,” she said then.

Nassar, 55, is in federal prison, convicted of child pornography charges. He is not eligible for release until 2069. If he is still alive at that time, he would then begin to serve the state sentence, which carries a minimum of 40 years.

CNN’s Eric Levenson, Evan Simko-Bednarski, Elizabeth Joseph, Ellie Kaufman and Lauren del Valle contributed to this report.