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Team USA gymnasts seek $1 billion in compensation over Larry Nassar abuse

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols during a Senate court hearing on the Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of Larry Nassar's investigation into the sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts.

Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols during a Senate court hearing on the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of Larry Nassar’s investigation into the sexual abuse of Olympic gymnasts.
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Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are joined by about 90 other girls and women in the search for more than $1 billion from the FBI after the bureau’s botched investigation into Larry Nassar’s decades of sexual abuse. Nassar, who allegedly assaulted more than 300 victims during his career as a doctor employed by USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, is currently in prison, where he will spend the rest of his life serving 60 straight years. and 175 years in prison for his crimes. But unfortunately, the traumatic saga is not over yet.

The three most famous plaintiffs, with eight Olympic gold medals and countless other medals between them, have bravely stopped to be the public faces of the lawsuit over the past few years, alongside the two-time NCAA champion and “Athlete A”, Maggie Nichols. Their moving testimonies helped alienate Nassar, but as Biles pointed out, the failure to protect young gymnasts was not his alone, but the responsibility of all authority figures involved.

Michigan State and USAG settled with the gymnasts and paid. But the FBI, while admitting negligence in handling the case after the abuse was first reported in 2015, has yet to do little more than acknowledge the horrific treatment of victims and issue an apology. .

When USAG first reported the abuse to the FBI’s Indianapolis office in 2015, they did not take the accusations seriously. Not only did they not report anything to authorities in Michigan, where Nassar was a state employee at MSU, but they only called and spoke to one of the three complainants.

This inaction allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue for more than a year, during which he allegedly targeted 70 other victims, until he was finally arrested in September 2016 after a separate investigation by authorities. State.

Despite the serious mishandling of the case that allowed even more girls and women to be sexually assaulted, the Department of Justice refused to press charges against the officers who ignored and then falsified the reports of the victims, even after discovery that they “did not respond to Nassar’s allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency they deserved and demanded, made numerous fundamental errors in responding to them, and violated several FBI policies”, including fabricating portions of the Late Report, and that both men gave inaccurate or incomplete answers to questions during the DOJ investigation.

These women have now been forced to relive and tell the story of their abuse as underage girls countless times throughout the investigation, trial and aftermath. The two FBI agents involved were deeply disrespectful to the victims (after Maroney gave his first phone interview, former FBI agent Michael Langeman said, “Is that all?” and continued not to testify of official reporting for two years), and gymnasts absolutely deserve to be compensated for the way they were treated when they tried to do the right (and incredibly difficult) thing and report a trusted authority.

They file the suit under federal tort claims law. Technically, it’s not yet a trial, but if the FBI doesn’t respond to the administrative complaint within six months, then the women can file a civil lawsuit. By NPRa lawyer involved in the lawsuit says a recent comparable successful case was settled in March, in which the Justice Department paid more than $100 million to relatives of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting victims without admitting fault.