US Government Agreed to a Settlement of $138.7m for the FBI’s Mishandling of the Larry Nassar Case

The United States Justice Department announced a $138.7 million settlement Tuesday with more than 100 people who accused the FBI of grossly mishandling sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar in 2015 and 2016, allowing the sports doctor to continue preying on victims prior to his arrest.

When combined with other agreements, various organizations have set aside $1 billion to compensate hundreds of women who claim Nassar molested them under the pretext of treating sports injuries.

Nassar previously worked at Michigan State University and as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics, situated in Indianapolis. He is currently serving decades in prison for attacking female athletes, including Olympic gymnasts who won medals.

US Government Agreed to a Settlement of $138.7m for the FBI's Mishandling of the Larry Nassar Case

Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin Mizer stated that Nassar had abused the trust of individuals in his care for decades and that the “allegations should have been taken seriously from the outset.”

“While these settlements will not undo the harm Nassar caused, we hope that they will provide the victims of his crimes with the critical support they require to continue healing,” Mizer said of the deal to settle 139 claims.

The Justice Department has admitted that it failed to intervene. An internal inquiry revealed that FBI agents in Indianapolis and Los Angeles were aware of charges against him for more than a year but appeared to take no action.

When FBI Director Christopher Wray addressed survivors during a Senate hearing in 2021, he was contrite—and extremely direct. Olympic medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney were among those who survived the assault.

“I’m sorry that so many different people let you down, over and over again,” Wray said in a statement. “And 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.”

After a search, investigators said in 2016 that they had discovered images of child sex assault and filed federal charges against Nassar. Separately, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office handled the assault allegations that stunned the sports world and resulted in an extraordinary days-long sentence trial including compelling testimony about his crimes.

US Government Agreed to a Settlement of $138.7m for the FBI's Mishandling of the Larry Nassar Case

“I am deeply appreciative. Accountability with the Justice Department has been a long time coming,” said Rachael Denhollander of Louisville, Kentucky, who is not part of the new settlement but was the first to publicly speak out about Nassar’s abuse.

“The unfortunate reality is that what we are seeing today is something that most survivors will never see,” Denhollander told The Associated Press. “Most survivors never face accountability. Most survivors never receive justice. Most survivors never receive recompense.

Michigan State University, which was also accused of missing numerous opportunities to stop Nassar, agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted. USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee reached a $380 million settlement.

Mick Grewal, an attorney who represented 44 persons in claims against the government, believes the $1 billion in total settlements reflects “the travesty that occurred.”

Gregory Sleet, a retired federal judge, served as a mediator for the federal claims.

“It took more than six years of tears, pain, and unrelenting effort by Nassar’s victims, including many of our nation’s most celebrated athletes, to shine the bright light of justice on the horrific misconduct by senior officials in the FBI and demand accountability,” said John Manly, the lead attorney in the case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *