Department of Justice will pay 138 million to victims of sexual abuse by former doctor Larry Nassar – La Opinion

Department of Justice will pay 138 million to victims of sexual abuse by former doctor Larry Nassar – La Opinion

The United States Department of Justice confirmed a settlement agreement worth $138.7 million to resolve 139 claims from sexual abuse victims by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

The Justice Department and more than 100 victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar have reached a civil settlement over allegations that FBI agents failed to properly investigate gymnasts’ abuse allegations against the now-convicted doctor.

“These agreements will resolve administrative claims against the United States” since The FBI “failed to conduct an adequate investigation of Nassar’s conduct,” the Department of Justice noted.

Over almost two decades and until 2016, when he was arrested, Nassar sexually abused hundreds of victims under the pretext of medical treatment.

Olympic superstar Simone Biles and fellow American gold medalists Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney are among the victims who claimed the FBI did not pursue allegations that Nassar was abusing his patients.

A 2021 Department of Justice surveillance report confirmed that FBI agents did not take appropriate investigative steps when they first learned that Nassar was sexually abusing young gymnasts in 2015.

Those rulings, according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, left the doctor free to continue abusing patients for months. The FBI agents were fired or retired, and in May 2022, federal prosecutors said they would not pursue criminal charges against the agents involved in those errors.

Even in 2021, The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a report criticizing certain aspects of the FBI’s response. and the investigation of the accusations against Nassar.

The victims sued the FBI in 2022, alleging negligence and wrongdoing. The final agreement in this case resolves the victims’ claims against the federal government.

In 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying before Congress, condemned agents’ past handling of Nassar’s allegations, adding: “What happened in this case is not acceptable on any planet.” In 2022, he told Congress that the FBI would not make the same mistakes in the future. Attorney General Merrick Garland called the FBI’s failures “horrible.”

However, neither Wray nor Garland were leading their respective organizations at the time of the FBI misconduct.

Nassar was sentenced in Michigan state court to up to 175 years in prison.
Credit: Paul Sancya | AP

“During decades, Lawrence Nassar abused his position, betraying the trust of those under his care and medical supervision and evading accountability“Acting Deputy Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer stated in the statement.

The allegations, he added, “should have been taken seriously from the beginning.”

“While these agreements will not remedy the harm that Nassar inflicted, our hope is that they will help provide the victims of his crimes with some of the critical support they need to continue healing,” he said.

Nassar, 60, served as a team doctor for the USA Gymnastics team for 18 years and also served at the University of Michigan.

In total, settlements related to the former women’s national gymnastics team doctor now total nearly $1 billion. Michigan State University, where Nassar was a doctor, agreed to pay $500 million to more than 300 women and girls who were assaulted by him.

The university was also accused of missing opportunities to arrest Nassar. USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee agreed in 2021 to a $380 million settlement with their victims. As part of the agreement, the organizations must also make significant reforms to prevent future abuses.

Nassar is serving multiple prison sentences for sexual abuse and child pornography crimes after pleading guilty to several charges throughout 2017 and 2018.

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