The saga of Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and the slew of other women who former Team USA gymnast Larry Nassar abused has now evolved to the group seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI.
Gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles and Olympic medalists Aly Raisman, and gymnast Maggie Nichols are among the more than 90 claimants.
Under federal law, a government agency has six months to respond to Wednesday’s tort claims. Based on the FBI’s response, lawsuits could follow.
DETROIT (AP) — Assault victims, including ex-Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, seek over $1B from FBI for failing to stop Larry Nassar.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 8, 2022
The Saga Continues
According to Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, lawyers for the U.S. Women’s National Team gymnasts, the group filed an administrative claim against the FBI over its investigation, which failed to stop the former sports doctor when the agency first received allegations against him.
“My fellow survivors and I were betrayed by every institution that was supposed to protect us – the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, the FBI and now the Department of Justice,” Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said in a statement.
“It is clear that the only path to justice and healing is through the legal process,” she added.
90 US athletes are suing the FBI for $1 Billion over its “mishandling” of the sexual abuse investigation of gymnast Dr Nassar.
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) June 8, 2022
The FBI Drops The Ball
The allegations about Nassar first came to the FBI in July 2015. A scathing Justice Department inspector general report detailed several protocol violations. The information released last July exposed how months of delays allowed Nassar to roam free. According to the report, FBI officials “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”
“(The FBI) made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and violated multiple FBI policies.”
The federal investigation stalled. However, Nassar kept abusing victims, and he ultimately pleaded guilty in 2017 and is now serving 175 years in prison.
“It is time for the FBI to be held accountable,” said 2017-19 national champion Maggie Nichols. “If the FBI had simply done its job, Nassar would have been stopped before he ever had the chance to abuse hundreds of girls, including me,” said former University of Michigan gymnast Samantha Roy.
Several U.S. gymnasts, including Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for its failure to stop former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s serial abuse. pic.twitter.com/eLb4a8wUtL
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 8, 2022
Testifying Before Congress
Last September, the gymnasts testified before a Senate Judiciary Hearing. Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Alexandra “Aly” Raisman recounted their abuse.
Last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged the significant mistakes of his organization in remarks to Congress.
“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,” Wray told victims at a Senate hearing.
Last July, Simone Biles withdrew from five of her six finals at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health. She credited the media scrutiny over the Larry Nassar for making her want to leave the Games.
Former Olympic and Team USA gymnasts file claims for over $1-billion to the FBI.. claiming the bureau mishandled information they gave agents on Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse of them. As a result, they say, Nassar continued his predatory behavior. Our story, 6:50pm ET @CNNSitRoom.
— Brian Todd (@BrianToddCNN) June 8, 2022
Reclaiming Their Power
“If you looked at everything I’ve gone through for the past seven years, I should have never made another Olympic team,” Biles said to New York Magazine.
“I should have quit way before Tokyo when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much. But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old. I wasn’t going to let him take that joy away from me. So I pushed past that for as long as my mind and my body would let me.”
In May, the Justice Department said that it would not pursue criminal charges against the former agents accused of giving incorrect or incomplete responses to the inspector general investigation.
The gymnasts are still attempting to reclaim the power that Larry Nassar stole and set an example for the Justice Department to do its job.