Former Olympic gymnasts, including gold medalist Simone Biles, are among several dozen victims of sexual assault seeking a sum greater than $1 billion from the FBI for botching the investigation into now-jailed sports doctor Larry Nassar.
It has been established that in 2015, FBI agents were aware that Nassar had been accused of molesting young gymnasts. Agents, however, failed to act, and Nassar was able to continue his habit of abuse.
In May, the Justice Department said it would not be pursuing criminal charges against FBI agents who failed to hastily open an investigation into the predator doctor.
Some of the roughly 90 claimants who are a part of the legal action include Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic Gold medalists. The group is being represented by the California law formed of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
In 2015, USA Gymnastics told local FBI agents that three gymnasts said they had been assaulted by Nassar, who was the team doctor. The FBI, however, did not open a formal investigation or inform any authorities in Michigan.
In 2016, FBI agents in Los Angeles began an investigation into Nassar during which they interviewed several victims of his then-alleged abuse but still did not alert authorities in Michigan, according to a a report by the DOJ's inspector general. At the time, Nassar was a doctor at Michigan State University.
Eventually, Nassar was arrested in the fall of 2016 during an investigation headed by the university police. The attorney general's office of the state handled the case against the doctor, while federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filed a child pornography case. Nassar was ultimately given what amounts to several life sentences in prison.
"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." FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a 2021 Senate hearing.
Michigan State University also agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 victims who were assaulted by Nassar during his time at the school. USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympics and Paralympic Committee agreed to a $380 million settlement with victims.