Simone Biles among assault victims seeking $1bn from FBI for failing to stop Larry Nassar

FBI agents in 2015 knew that sports doctor Nassar - who is now serving decades in prison - was accused of molesting gymnasts but they failed to act and he continued to target young women and girls for more than a year

Simone Biles, Other Women Seek Over $1B From FBI Over Nassar

Former Olympic gymnasts, including four-time gold medallist Simone Biles, are among dozens of assault victims who are seeking more than $1bn from the FBI for failing to stop sports doctor Larry Nassar, lawyers said Wednesday.

There’s no dispute that FBI agents in 2015 knew that Nassar was accused of molesting gymnasts but they failed to act, leaving him free to continue to target 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 from 2017-19.

Under US federal law, a government agency has six months to respond to the tort claim. Lawsuits could follow, depending on the FBI’s response. The Justice Department said in May that it would not pursue criminal charges against former FBI agents who failed to quickly open an investigation.

The approximately 90 claimants include Ms Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney – who are all Olympic gold medalists – according to Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, a California law firm.

“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,” said former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy.

USA Gymnastics told FBI agents in 2015 that three gymnasts said they were assaulted by Nassar, a team doctor. But the FBI did not open a formal investigation or inform federal or state authorities in Michigan – where Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University – according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, an internal watchdog.

Los Angeles FBI agents in 2016 began a sexual tourism investigation against Nassar and interviewed several victims but also didn’t alert Michigan authorities, the inspector general said.

Larry Nassar is currently serving decades in prison

Nassar wasn’t arrested until the autumn of 2016 during an investigation by Michigan State University police. The Michigan attorney general’s office ultimately handled the assault charges against Nassar, while federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed a child pornography case. He is serving decades in prison.

The FBI declined to comment in April when a smaller batch of claims was filed, referring instead to Director Christopher Wray’s remarks to Congress in 2021.

“I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable,” Wray told victims at a Senate hearing.

Michigan State University, which was also accused of missing chances over many years to stop Nassar, agreed to pay $500m to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee made a $380m settlement.

Associated Press

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in