Detroit Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other gymnasts who claim she was sexually harassed by Larry Nassar are threatening an FBI lawsuit for more than a billion dollars, lawyers said on Wednesday.
Posted at 9:39
Biles and his colleagues blame the government agency for letting the sports doctor continue to commit crimes even though she has already received complaints about him.
There is no doubt that FBI agents in 2015 knew that Nassar, currently imprisoned, had been charged with assaulting gymnasts, but did not intervene, which allowed him to continue the crime with young women for more than 10 years a year. He confessed in 2017 and is currently serving decades in prison.
“It’s time for the FBI to respond,” said Maggie Nichols, a gymnastics winner at the University of Oklahoma from 2017 to 2019.
Under the Federal Criminal Code, the U.S. government agency has six months to respond to complaints filed on Wednesday. Depending on the FBI’s response, prosecution could then be launched.
Among the 90 plaintiffs are Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists, according to California-based law firm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi.
“If the FBI had just done its job, Nassar would have been arrested before he could attack hundreds of young women, myself included,” said Samantha Roy, a former gymnast at the University of Michigan.
An email requesting comment has been sent to the FBI.
US Gymnastics, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, told FBI agents in 2015 that Nassar, a team physician, attacked three gymnasts. However, the FBI did not initiate a formal investigation or inform local or federal authorities in the state of Michigan, according to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice, the internal supervisory authority.
FBI agents in Los Angeles began a sex tourism investigation against Nassar in 2016 and met with many victims, but did not inform the authorities in Michigan, the Inspector General said.
Nassar was finally arrested in the fall of 2016 as part of an investigation by the Michigan State University Police Department. He was a doctor at this university.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office eventually brought charges of assaulting Nassar, while federal prosecutors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, accused him of child pornography.
FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted big mistakes in last year’s speech in the US Congress.
“I am particularly sorry that the FBI people who had the opportunity to stop this monster in 2015 have failed. And it’s unjustifiable, “Wray told the victims during a hearing before the US Senate.
The Department of Justice said in May it would not file criminal reports against former police officers who provided incomplete or insufficient answers during the Office of the Inspector General’s investigation.
Michigan State University, also accused of closing its eyes to Nassar’s actions, has agreed to pay 500 million to more than 300 young women who have been attacked by a former sports doctor over the years. The US Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee have settled the dispute out of court for 380 million.