Judge in Larry Nassar sex abuse case to speak in Chattanooga on Friday

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina looks towards Larry Nassar as a victim gives her impact statement during the seventh day of Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, in Lansing, Mich. Nassar has admitted sexually assaulting athletes when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which is the sport's national governing organization and trains Olympians. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided over the case of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced for sex abuse in 2018, will be the keynote speaker at "RISE 2019" on Friday.

The event is hosted by the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults and focuses on how the community rises together to support neighbors in need, according to a news release. It will take place at 7 p.m. at The Chattanoogan Hotel.

Aquilina gained national attention after she allowed more than 150 women to speak out against Nassar in her courtroom before sentencing him to up to 175 years in prison. She was elected to the 30th Circuit Court for Ingham County in Lansing, Michigan, in 2008, where she currently serves, according to a news release. Previously, she served as a 55th District Court Judge for four years, during which time she served as chief judge as well as the Sobriety Court judge. In December, she was named as one of 2018's "Women of the Year" by Glamour Magazine.

"Without open, honest communication in a safe place, nothing will change," she said in a statement. "The vulnerable can no longer pay the price of silence and indifference. Change is overdue. Working together we can show victims that they matter and there is meaningful change, not just idle talk."

RISE is the first of its kind for the organization and aims to showcase the many services it provides to victims of violence, said Pam Ladd, chief executive officer.

"Judge Aquilina's words to the victim's in the trial had a global impact for victims around the world," she said. "Last year, the Partnership's 24/7 Crisis Hotline received 5,723 call, 1,241 victims of domestic violence received shelter or non-residential support services, and the Rape Crisis Center served 414 clients."

Tickets are $100 and tables of eight are $1,000. Register online at PartnershipFCA.com/RISE. For more information, contact Sharon Love at slove@partnershipfca.com or call 423-697-3827.