DOJ Announces $139 Million Settlement with Larry Nassar’s Victims Over Claims of FBI Misconduct

“These allegations should have been taken seriously from the start.”

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it has reached a $138.7 million settlement agreement with the victims of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar to resolve their claims of wrongdoing against the FBI in its failure to investigate allegations of investigate sexual abuse.

“For decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those in his care and under his medical supervision, while evading responsibility,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said in a statement . “These allegations should have been taken seriously from the start. While these settlements will not undo the damage Nassar has caused, we hope they will provide the victims of his crimes with some of the crucial support they need to continue healing.”

Once finalized, the settlement will resolve 139 tort claims filed against the DOJ and FBI in 2022 by the long list of athletes and patients who reported abuse by Nassar, including Maggie Nichols, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney .

The claims, seeking a total of about $1 billion in damages, were filed after the department said it declined to pursue criminal charges against officers who the DOJ inspector general found failed to investigate Nassar’s abuse allegations had been properly investigated.

The watchdog report found that the FBI was made aware of Nassar’s behavior but took no action for more than 14 months, a period during which Nassar allegedly abused at least 40 more girls and women.

Nassar pleaded guilty in 2017 to crimes against several victims and was sentenced to 60 years behind bars on child pornography and other charges. He pleaded guilty again in 2018 and was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years on multiple charges of sexual assault of minors.

Lawyers for many of those who have filed claims against the government celebrated the agreement Tuesday, but said that “the FBI has fundamentally failed to protect hundreds of women and girls from sexual abuse through inaction and gross misuse of their Larry Nassar research.”

“We are proud to have reached a monumental settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice that not only ensures the recovery survivors deserve, but also holds the DOJ and FBI accountable for their failures,” said Megan Bonanni and Michael L. Pitt, representing 77. of the plaintiffs, according to a statement.

“We hope this is a lesson to federal law enforcement and that they make the necessary changes to prevent something like this from happening again.”


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