DETROIT – Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say it was them sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are demanding more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the sports doctor when the agency first received allegations against him, lawyers said Wednesday.
There’s no dispute that FBI agents knew in 2015 that the now-arrested Nassar was accused of assaulting Turner, but they didn’t act, allowing it to continue targeting young women and girls for more than a year. He pleaded guilty in 2017 and is serving decades in prison.
“It’s about time the FBI was held accountable,” said Maggie Nichols, a national champion gymnast in Oklahoma in 2017-19.
Under federal law, a government agency has six months to respond to tort claims filed Wednesday. Depending on the FBI’s response, lawsuits could follow.
The approximately 90 plaintiffs include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists, according to Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, a California law firm.
“Had the FBI just done their job, Nassar would have been stopped before he ever had a chance to molest hundreds of girls, including me,” said former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy.
An email was sent to the FBI requesting comment.
Based in Indianapolis USA gymnastics told local FBI agents in 2015 that three gymnasts said they were assaulted by Nassar, a team doctor. But the FBI did not launch a formal investigation and did not notify federal or state agencies in Michigan, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, an internal watchdog.
FBI agents in Los Angeles launched a sex tourism investigation into Nassar in 2016 and questioned several victims, but also failed to alert Michigan authorities, the inspector general said.
Nassar was only arrested in the fall of 2016 during an investigation by Michigan State University police. He was a doctor at Michigan State University.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office finally considered the assault charges against Nassar, while the federal prosecutor’s office in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed a child pornography case.
in the Remarks to Congress Last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged major mistakes.
“I’m particularly sorry that there were people at the FBI who had their own chance to stop this monster in 2015 and failed. And that’s inexcusable,” Wray told victims at a Senate hearing.
At the same hearing, Biles, widely regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, said an “entire system” made the abuse possible. Maroney recalled “dead silence” when speaking to FBI agents about Nassar.
The Justice Department said so in May would not file a criminal complaint against former agents accused of providing inaccurate or incomplete answers during the inspector general’s investigation.
Michigan State University, who has also been accused of missing opportunities to stop Nassar for many years, agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls attacked by Nassar. USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee a $380 million settlement.
More stories about Larry Nassar and the aftermath of his years of sexually abusing young women and girls: https://www.apnews.com/LarryNassar
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https://www.local10.com/sports/2022/06/08/simone-biles-others-seek-1b-plus-from-fbi-over-nassar/ Simone Biles, other women are demanding more than $1 billion from the FBI instead of Nassar