Landmark Settlement: Justice Department to Pay $100 Million to Simone Biles, Gymnastics Team Abuse Victims

0
343

Simone Biles and McKayla Maroney of the U.S. Women’s National Gymnastics Team, as well as Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols who were abused sexually by the team doctor, will forever remember the name of this sick predator and the abuse he inflicted on them.

Maroney tried to contact the FBI to report Nassar’s abuse in the summer of 2015 but to no avail. Later, a report revealed that “limited follow-up” was conducted by the FBI. This delayed the trial of Nassar and his conviction for over a year.

As reported on Wednesday, now the Justice Department is paying approximately $100 million in compensation to former gymnasts because the FBI failed to take the allegations of the star athletes seriously.

The agreement will settle the remaining claims against the FBI, and other entities who mishandled allegations against Nassar. This will bring the total legal liability up to nearly $1 billion.

Here’s more:

According to sources familiar with the situation, the settlement reached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the fall was accepted in principle in part by women and girls who filed administrative tort suits against the agency in 2020. However, the agreement has not yet been finalized.

The claimants include Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman, the elite gymnasts who were first identified in the summer of 2015 as having been potentially abused by Nassar—as well as dozens of patients sexually assaulted by him for more than a year after the FBI was alerted to the gymnasts’ concerns.

USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee have agreed to pay $380 million to hundreds of victims of assaults over the past three decades.

Maroney said to the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI had falsified the claims she made in September 2021.

When I told the FBI my story of abuse in the summer of 2015, the FBI did not only not report it, but they also made false claims when they finally documented my report 17 months later.

Biles, a tearful Biles, told the committee of the continued suffering that gymnasts are still experiencing.

USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee, and the Paralympic Committee were aware that I had been abused by the official team doctor before I even knew about it,” Biles said to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

We continue to suffer because nobody at the FBI, USAG, or USOPC has done what is necessary to protect us. We have been let down.

More:

The inspector general of the Justice Department detailed numerous failings in the FBI’s handling of the complaints brought by USA Gymnastics to its Indianapolis field office, on July 28, 2015.

According to the report, Indianapolis agents weren’t sure if the accusations against Nassar constituted a federal crime. The agents were unsure of how to deal with concerns brought up by people in Indianapolis, the city where USA Gymnastics has its headquarters. However, there was no evidence that Nassar had treated gymnasts in Indianapolis.

Nassar continued seeing patients for more than a full year after USA Gymnastics notified the FBI. In the fall of 2016, he was publicly accused of sexual assault. He was sentenced in 2018 to a life-long prison sentence for child pornography and sexual abuse.

Conclusion:

The Nassar case, and the subsequent legal settlements, were complex. But the bottom line was simple.

In essence, the accusations of the girls, who were the victims at the time, were ignored, not taken seriously, or at least not given priority, in favor of an evil sexual predator.

The same injustice, regardless of the specific crime, not only exists today — it’s likely worse.