Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, – all Olympic gold medalists, are among the 90 plaintiffs seeking $1 billion dollars from the FBI for failing to stop Team USA sports doctor, Larry Nassar when the agency first received allegations against him.
“It is time for the FBI to be held accountable,” said Maggie Nichols, a national champion gymnast at Oklahoma in 2017-19.
Under federal law, a government agency has six months to respond to the tort claims filed Wednesday. Lawsuits could follow, depending on the FBI’s response.
In 2015, the FBI was informed that three female athletes had reported being sexually abused by Nassar, a team doctor for USA Gymnastics. However, the agency did not open a formal investigation.
“If the FBI had simply done its job, Nassar would have been stopped before he ever had the chance to abuse hundreds of girls, including me,” said Samantha Roy former gymnast at the University of Michigan.
FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged major mistakes during his testimony to the victims at a Senate hearing last year.
“I’m especially sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster back in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable,” Wray told the gymnasts.
Michigan State University, where Dr Nassar was employed, was also accused of failing to prevent Nassar from abusing hundreds of female athletes. The school agreed to pay $500 million to settle various lawsuits. The US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics also settled with the victims with a $380 million settlement.
The Michigan attorney general’s office handled the criminal cases against Nassar. Federal prosecutors in Michigan did file a child pornography case, but this new case claims that the FBI filing was too little, too late under federal statutes.