Justice Department Agrees to Pay $100 Million to Simone Biles, Other Victims of Gymnastics Team Doctor

Larry Nassar. 

Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Maggie Nichols, who were sexually abused by the then-team doctor of the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team, will live the rest of their lives with the sick sexual predator’s name and what he did to them seared into their memories. 

Maroney contacted the FBI in the summer of 2015 to report Nassar’s abuse to no avail. A later report revealed that the FBI “conducted limited follow-up,” which delayed the trial and ultimate conviction of Nassar by over a year.

Now, as reported on Wednesday, the Justice Department has agreed to pay approximately $100 million to the former gymnasts as a result of the FBI failing to take seriously the accusations of the star athletes. 

The agreement will resolve the remaining legal claims against the FBI and other entities that mishandled the allegations against Nassar, which will bring total legal liability to almost $1 billion.

Here’s more:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s settlement was reached in the fall and has been accepted in principle by the women and girls who had filed administrative tort claims against the agency in 2022, but hasn’t yet been finalized, according to people familiar with the matter.
The claimants include Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman, the elite gymnasts who were first identified in the summer of 2015 as having been potentially abused by Nassar—as well as dozens of patients sexually assaulted by him for more than a year after the FBI was alerted to the gymnasts’ concerns.
USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, accused of fostering a toxic environment in which Nassar was unsupervised and gymnasts were afraid to speak out, agreed to settle claims for $380 million in 2021 with hundreds of athletes assaulted over three decades. 

Maroney told the House Judiciary Committee in September 2021 that the FBI falsified her claims.

After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said.

A tearful Biles told the committee that the gymnasts continue to suffer.

USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge,” Biles told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at the FBI, USAG, or the USOPC did what was necessary to protect us. We have been failed.


The Justice Department’s inspector general detailed multiple failings in the FBI’s handling of the gymnasts’ complaints, which were brought to the Indianapolis field office on July 28, 2015, by USA Gymnastics, the sport’s national governing body. 
Indianapolis agents were unsure if the allegations against Nassar represented a possible federal crime, according to the report. They were also unsure how to handle concerns that had been brought to them in Indianapolis—the city where USA Gymnastics is headquartered—when there were no allegations of Nassar treating gymnasts there.

Horrifically, Nassar continued to see patients for more than a year after USA Gymnastics went to the FBI. He was publicly accused of assault in the fall of 2016 and, in 2018, sentenced to an effective life sentence in prison on sexual abuse and child pornography charges.

The Bottom Line

While the Nassar case and subsequent legal settlements were complicated, the bottom line was not. 

The accusations of the victims, girls at the time, were in effect ignored, not taken seriously, or at the very least not prioritized, in essence, in favor of a sick sexual predator. 

The same injustice, regardless of the specific crime, not only exists today — it’s likely worse.


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