Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women, has reportedly spent more than $10,000 behind bars on expenses like commissary items and email and phone access, while paying out only a few hundred dollars of his court-ordered restitution payments to victims.
So far, the disgraced sports doctor, who is effectively serving a life sentence on combined state and federal child pornography and assault charges, has only paid out $300 of the more than $58,000 he owes various victims and federal crime victims’ funds, The Washington Post reports.
“This sexual predator’s young victims had an opportunity to receive some financial reparation over the past three and a half years,” Jason Wojdylo, a former official in the US Marshals Service told the Post, arguing that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) should allow courts and other entities to collect debts from prisoners’ accounts. “Instead, BOP has enabled a nominal $25 contribution every three months toward his debt while he presumably spent thousands of dollars on snacks and other privileges.”
That’s the thrust of a court filing from federal prosecutors on Wednesday, who are seeking to force Nassar to turn over the funds, which would go towards the federal Crime Victims Fund as well as individual victims in his child pornography case.
According to the filing, Nassar has paid approximately $8.33 per month towards his various obligations, even though he’s deposited more than $12,000 into his BOP account since entering prison in late 2017. At this rate, he may not ever pay back his full obligations, since some federal debts are canceled after five years.
Lawmakers in the Senate had called on the Bureau to explain its policies regarding prisoner accounts, after the Post previously reported inmates can keep an unlimited amount inside their accounts, with some totalling more than $100,000, but so far the BOP hasn’t responded.
An attorney for Mr Nassar did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
“The BOP is committed to taking all appropriate steps to help ensure that inmates meet their financial obligations, including court-ordered payments to compensate victims,” the agency said in a statement. “As part of that process, it regularly analyzes and monitors inmate accounts. BOP also partners with other law enforcement agencies and regularly notifies relevant authorities—such as the U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorneys’ offices—when it identifies funds that are appropriately subject to seizure. BOP took such steps here. As reflected on the public docket, the government has asked the court to order that all funds in an inmate’s account be turned over to satisfy a restitution judgment. The BOP will continue to examine its policies in an effort to do all it can to help ensure that inmates meet their fundamental financial obligations.”
The outrage is part of a broader pattern, where critics say the federal government failed to properly hold the serial abuser to account, as he harmed young athletes like Olympic star Simone Biles.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department FBI failed to properly look into allegations against Nassar, who abused numerous girls and young women under the guise of medical treatments.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies