Simone Biles and U.S. Gymnasts Sue FBI For Over $1B

By Agência Brasil Fotografias - EUA levam ouro na ginástica artística feminina; Brasil fica em 8º lugar, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50584958

Olympian Simone Biles, and fellow gold medalists McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, took $1 billion in legal action against the FBI for how they mishandled allegations against disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

The Olympic athletes teamed up with around 90 other gymnasts who were abused while under the care of Nassar, to go after a significant settlement from the federal agency, for failing to execute a timely investigation into the Michigan State University doctor. 

The lawsuit alleges that the agency took no investigative action into the allegations made by USA Gymnastics for 421 days. They also failed to inform federal, state, or Michigan authorities about reported abuse, which allowed Nassar to victimize 70 women and girls during that time frame.

The initial report to the bureau was made in September of 2015, when the national gymnastics organization contacted the Indianapolis field office about Nassar sexually assaulting three athletes. The FBI didn’t open an investigation into Nassar until USA Gymnastics’ May 2016 report to their Los Angeles office.  

He was arrested in the fall of 2016, and sentenced to a cumulative 360 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct and child pornography in 2018. 

Biles, Maroney, and Raisman testified to Congress about the FBI’s handling of the case against Nassar in September of 2021. 

​​”We have been failed, and we deserve answers,” Biles said at the time. “Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others across Olympic sports.”

The agency accepted the inspector general’s report that the actions were a “discredit” to the organization, but announced that they would not press charges against the agents who mishandled the case, though both were caught lying. 

Maroney explained the women’s decision to file for damages came after they “were betrayed by every institution that was supposed” to protect them and that the Department of Justice is just the latest in the long line. 

“I had some hope that they would keep their word and hold the FBI accountable after we poured out our hearts to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and begged for justice. It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process,” she said in a statement.

Nassar’s victims have successfully collected settlements from Michigan State, along with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for $880 million.

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