US government agrees to $138.7M settlement over FBI’s botching of Larry Nassar assault allegations

DETROIT (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday awarded a $138.7 million settlement with more than 100 people who accused the FBI of grossly mishandling sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar in 2015 and 2016. Announced. This significant time gap made it possible for sports doctors to continue their activities. They prey on their victims before they are arrested.

Combined with other settlements, various organizations have now set aside $1 billion to compensate hundreds of women who say Nassar assaulted them under the guise of medical treatment for sports injuries.

Michigan State University has agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted by Dr. Larry Nassar. AFP (via Getty Images)

Nassar worked at Michigan State University and also served as team physician for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics. He is currently serving decades in prison for assaulting female athletes, including medal-winning Olympic gymnasts.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Benjamin Mizer said Nassar betrayed the trust of the people he cared for for decades and that “the allegations should have been taken seriously from the beginning.”

“While this settlement does not undo the harm Nassar caused, it does provide the victims of Nassar’s crimes with the critical support they need to continue their recovery,” Meiser said of the agreement to resolve 139 claims. I hope we can provide some of that.”

The Justice Department admitted it had failed to intervene. FBI agents in Indianapolis and Los Angeles were aware of the allegations against him for more than a year but apparently took no action, an internal investigation found.

FBI Director Christopher Wray was contrite and very candid when speaking to survivors at a 2021 Senate hearing. Survivors of the assault include Olympian honorees Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

“I’m sorry so many people have let you down so many times,” Ray said. “And I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had the chance to stop this monster in 2015 and failed.”

As a result of the search, investigators announced in 2016 that they had discovered images of child sexual abuse and continued federal charges against Nassar.

Separately, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office handled an assault charge that ultimately shocked the sports world and led to an unusual multi-day sentencing hearing with shocking testimony about his crimes.

“I really appreciate it. Accountability to the Department of Justice is long overdue,” said Rachel Denhollander of Louisville, Kentucky. Although he is not part of the settlement, he is the first person to come forward publicly and detail abuse by Mr. Nassar.

“The unfortunate reality is that what we are seeing today is something that most survivors will never see,” Denhollander told The Associated Press. “Most survivors never feel any responsibility. Most survivors will never know justice. Most survivors will never receive reparations.”

Michigan State University, which has also been accused of missing opportunities over the years to stop Nassar, has agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted.

USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee reached a settlement for $380 million.

Mick Grewal, a lawyer who represented 44 people in lawsuits against the government, said the $1 billion settlement speaks to the “travesty that occurred.”