Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina speaks at a sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar for molesting about 100 girls while he was a physician for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where he had his sports-medicine practice, Jan. 16, 2018 in Lansing, Michigan. Getty Images/Scott Olson

The prominent judge who presided over the sexual assault case against USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is also a crime novelist. Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who garnered national attention during the recent trial, is the author of “Triple Cross Killer” a thriller about a pair of detectives pursuing a killer.

Aquilina published “Triple Cross Killer” in 2017. It appeared to be the first novel in her “State Detective Special Forces” series. She also published another novel, called “Feel No Evil,” in 2003, according to her Goodreads author page. Aquilina told WOOD Radio’s West Michigan Live Thursday she hoped to focus more on her novels in the coming years.

“I’ve always written and it’s always been my dream,” she said. “Later on in life, I have many stories, many books.”

A mother of five, Aquilina also served 20 years in the Michigan Army National Guard and went on to become the organization’s first female JAG officers.

Aquilina was hailed for her work during the trial as more than 150 women came forward to make victim impact statements about Nassar’s assaults. Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday, telling him, “I’ve just signed your death warrant.”

“This story is not about me,” she said at the time. “It never was about me.”

The judge, however, drew some criticism for her comments during the trial specifically for her statement about what she would do if not for the Constitution.

“Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment,” she said at the end of Tuesday’s hearing. “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.”

Others, however, praised Aquilina for her handling of the situation and for her comments toward the victims in the case.

“Judge Aquilina, I applaud you,” said Doug Powell, whose daughter made a statement to the court. “We applaud you. This room applauds you.”