Champion Simone Biles and more than 90 American gymnasts filed a billion-dollar lawsuit Wednesday with federal police, accused of “negligence” in a sexual harassment scandal perpetrated by former doctor Larry Nassar.
“When my attack was first reported in September 2015, the FBI knew that Larry Nassar was a danger to children,” gymnast Maggie Nichols told law firm attorneys Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
He accused FBI officers of working with the US Gymnastics Federation and the United States Olympic Committee “for 421 days to hide this information from the public” and allowing Nassar to continue attacking girls and young women.
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Larry Nassar, 58, former US women’s doctor, is serving a life sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting more than 250 gymnasts, most of them underage, in 2017 and 2018 at the gymnastics federation, Michigan State University, and a gym. gymnastics club.
The first charges against him were forwarded to the local FBI office in Indianapolis in July 2015.
The investigation quickly dropped, and in May 2016 it received another report for federal police to launch new investigations.
The agents “made numerous and fundamental mistakes and violated several FBI rules”, after which they rebuked the Justice Department’s general inspection with a damning report.
However, the ministry announced in late May that it would not prosecute offending officials.
“The other victims and I have been betrayed by all the agencies that were supposed to protect us,” said former Olympic champion McKayla Maroney, referring to the federation, the Olympic committee, the FBI and the Justice Department.
“Clearly, our only path to justice and recovery is through the legal process.”
In September 2021, Maroney, Biles and Nichols denounced the inaction of sports and police officials in the face of charges against Larry Nassar before a Senate committee.
The FBI did not comment, citing FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before the Senate committee last year.
He later apologized to the doctor’s victims and admitted that “the fundamental mistakes made in 2015 and 2016 should never have been made.”
In December 2021, American sports officials agreed to pay $380 million in compensation to Larry Nassar’s victims.