Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and other US star gymnasts filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against the FBI on Wednesday over alleged mishandling of the sexual abuse investigation by former predatory team doctor Larry Nassar . Nassar, 58, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in late 2017 and early 2018 to sexually assaulting athletes while working as a sports physician at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.
Hundreds of women, including Olympic gold medalists Biles, Raisman and McKayla Maroney, have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them during his more than two-decade career.
Biles, Raisman and Maroney are among more than 90 women who have filed a federal complaint against the FBI, the law firm handling the case, Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, said in a statement.
“The majority of plaintiffs consist of more than 90 young women and girls who were abused after 2015 due to the FBI’s failure to take the necessary steps to protect them,” the law firm said.
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Maroney said in a statement that “my fellow survivors and I have been betrayed by every institution meant to protect us – the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, the FBI.”
“I had some hope that they would keep their word and hold the FBI accountable,” she said. “Clearly the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process.”
The law firm said the FBI received credible complaints in July 2015 about Nassar’s sexual assaults and was “subsequently able to immediately end Nassar’s predation.”
“However, the FBI grossly failed in its duty by refusing to interview gymnasts who were willing to speak about the abuse,” he said.
“As a result, Nassar continued his predatory behavior, sexually assaulting approximately 90 young women and children between July 28, 2015 and September 12, 2016,” he added.
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The complaint against the FBI comes just days after the Justice Department announced it would not bring charges against two now-retired FBI special agents who mishandled the Nassar investigation.
Nassar’s victims last year reached a $380 million settlement with USA Gymnastics, one of the largest on record for victims of sexual abuse. USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after a tidal wave of allegations against Nassar overwhelmed the organization.
Michigan State University reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of Nassar victims in 2018.
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Post expires at 4:02pm on Saturday June 18th, 2022