DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan attorney general’s office is defending the conduct of Larry Nassar’s sentencing judge and asking that she deny a defense request to disqualify herself from the former Michigan State University sports doctor’s appeal.

The Detroit News reports that the attorney general’s office says in court documents filed Tuesday that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s role was different than a trial judge when she sentenced Nassar after he pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

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Aquilina described Nassar as a “monster” and said she was signing his “death warrant” when ordered him to serve a 40- to 175-year sentence . Nassar’s attorneys say Aquilina was biased.

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The attorney general’s office says “a sentencing judge is permitted to use strong language.” Aquilina will hear arguments on Friday.

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