Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of women sexually assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar plan to sue the FBI for over $1 billion.
They assert that the FBI had multiple chances to stop the serial abuser in his tracks but failed to do so over the years.
Holding The FBI Accountable
According to Associated Press, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, among dozens of other victims Nassar sexually assaulted, plan to seek over $1 billion from the FBI. Lawyers say this is because the FBI failed to stop the sports doctor when the agency first received allegations against him.
The claim alleges that FBI agents were aware that Nassar was accused of assaulting gymnasts back in 2015 but took no action. The agency failed to stop Nassar and the doctor continued to sexually abuse young women and girls for more than a year.
“It is time for the FBI to be held accountable,” said Maggie Nichols, a national champion gymnast at Oklahoma in 2017-19.
Government agencies have six months to respond to the claims filed Wednesday, and depending on the response from the FBI, lawsuits are a possibility.
About 90 claimants are involved in the action, including Olympic gold medalists Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, according to Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, a California law firm. Thirteen other claims were filed by others separately in April.
Former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy said, “If the FBI had simply done its job, Nassar would have been stopped before he ever had the chance to abuse hundreds of girls, including me.”
The Indianapolis-based USA gymnastics officials informed local agents in 2015 that three gymnasts said they were assaulted by Nassar. However, the FBI neither opened a formal investigation nor informed federal or state authorities in Michigan, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, an internal watchdog. In addition, the inspector general also stated that Los Angeles agents in 2016 began an investigation against Nassar and interviewed several victims but did not alert Michigan authorities.
Nassar wasn’t arrested until the fall of 2016 during an investigation.The Michigan Attorney General’s office took over assault charges against Nassar. Federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed a child pornography case against the former doctor.
FBI Director Christopher Wray highlighted and admitted to the heavily flawed management of the investigation when he spoke to Congress in 2021.
“I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable,” Wray told victims at a Senate hearing.
At this same hearing, Simon Biles, too, stated an “entire system” enabled the abuse, while Maroney recalled “dead silence” when she talked to FBI agents about Nassar.
In May, the Justice Department said they would not pursue criminal charges against former agents accused of giving incorrect or incomplete responses during the inspector general’s investigation. Michigan State University, also accused of missing chances to stop Nassar, agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls he assaulted. The USA Gymnastics, U.S. Olympics, and Paralympic Committee also made a $380 million settlement.
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Jailed and disgraced former Team USA Olympics doctor Larry Nassar will be spending the rest of his life behind bars. A judge sentenced him to nearly 200 years in jail for a slew of sexual assault and abuse charges.
After a week-long publicized trial, Nassar finally had his sentence delivered on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, in a Michigan court.
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Olympics superstar Simone Biles finally broke her silence, stepping forward to address disgraced ex-team USA coach Larry Nassar’s horrific sexual attacks on her and her teammates.
The then-20-year-old athlete came forward on Twitter to single out Nassar and demand answers for why his serial assaults went on for years without punishment.