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Dallas CASA’s 2019 Champion of Children Award Dinner will feature speaker Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the Michigan circuit court judge who allowed more than 150 abuse survivors to testify in court against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Aquilina gained national attention in 2018 for providing time and space for the victims to speak publicly prior to Nassar’s sentencing. Testimony that had been scheduled for four days stretched to seven, much of it televised. Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually molesting patients under the guise of medical treatment, but not before issuing a stinging rebuke on behalf of his victims.

“Your decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulated, devious and despicable,” she said from the bench. “And I want you to know, as much as it was my honor and privilege to hear the survivors, it is my honor and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again. “I hope somewhere you have heard everybody’s words and it really does resonate with you.” 

Dallas CASA will honor Jessica and Dirk Nowitzki with the Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award for their ongoing commitment to making the lives of children better. Since the very beginning of Dirk Nowitzki’s long and storied Dallas Mavericks career, his Dirk Nowitzki Foundation has awarded millions to help disadvantaged children. Since his retirement earlier this year, Dirk and his wife have continued their involvement and investment in the community’s children.

Dallas CASA’s Champion of Children Award Dinner will be held 6:00 p.m., Nov. 14 at The Omni Dallas. Dallas CASA is a nonprofit agency that provides trained and supervised community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children living in protective care. 

A limited number of tables and individual tickets are available, please visit

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