$138.7 Million Settlement Reached in FBI Mishandling of Larry Nassar Sexual Assault Allegations

8.7 Million Settlement Reached in FBI Mishandling of Larry Nassar Sexual Assault Allegations

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a $138.7 million settlement with over 100 individuals who accused the FBI of grossly mishandling allegations of sexual assault against Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor. This settlement covers a critical time gap in 2015 and 2016 when the FBI’s inaction allowed Nassar to continue preying on victims before his eventual arrest.

Combined with previous settlements, a total of $1 billion has now been set aside by various organizations to compensate hundreds of women who were victims of Nassar’s sexual assaults, which he perpetrated under the guise of medical treatment for sports injuries. Nassar, who worked at Michigan State University and served as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics, has been convicted for assaulting numerous female athletes, including Olympic gymnasts.

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer acknowledged that Nassar had betrayed the trust of those under his care for decades, emphasizing that the allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset. Mizer expressed hope that these settlements would provide critical support to the victims in their healing process, although he acknowledged that they cannot undo the harm inflicted by Nassar.

The Justice Department has admitted its failure to intervene in a timely manner. FBI agents in Indianapolis and Los Angeles had knowledge of the allegations against Nassar for over a year but failed to take any action. FBI Director Christopher Wray, speaking at a Senate hearing in 2021, expressed contrition and directly apologized to the survivors, including decorated Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney. Wray admitted that the FBI had missed an opportunity to stop Nassar in 2015.

Following a search in 2016, investigators discovered images of child sex abuse, leading to federal charges against Nassar. The Michigan attorney general’s office separately handled the assault charges, which ultimately shocked the sports world and triggered a high-profile sentencing hearing where survivors provided gripping testimony about Nassar’s crimes.

Rachael Denhollander, who was the first person to publicly come forward and detail abuse by Nassar, expressed deep gratitude for the Justice Department’s accountability, which she believes has been a long time coming. Denhollander noted that most survivors never witness such accountability, justice, or restitution.

Michigan State University, accused of missed opportunities to stop Nassar over the years, has already settled with over 300 women and girls who were assaulted. Additionally, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have faced legal action and settlements related to Nassar’s crimes.

Author: CrimeDoor

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